Indonesia hard-line Muslims protest ban on Facebook accounts

A group of Muslim women hold posters during a rally outside the Facebook office in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. Muslim hard-liners have staged protest against the social media giant Facebook in Indonesia's capital over its alleged ban on multiple pages and accounts related to their group. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
A Muslim woman holds a poster during a rally outside the Facebook office in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. Muslim hard-liners have staged protest against the social media giant Facebook in Indonesia's capital over its alleged ban on multiple pages and accounts related to their group. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
A group of Muslims hold a banner during a rally outside the Facebook office in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. Muslim hard-liners have staged protest against the social media giant Facebook in Indonesia's capital over its alleged ban on multiple pages and accounts related to their group. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Muslim hard-liners marched in Indonesia's capital on Friday to protest Facebook's blocking of accounts belonging to their group.

About 200 protesters organized by the Islamic Defenders Front, known by its Indonesian acronym FPI, marched after Friday prayers from a mosque to the Facebook Indonesia office, which was guarded by hundreds of police. They halted traffic along the way as they chanted "Allah Akbar," or "God is Great."

Many carried banners saying "Don't persecute Muslims" and "Please don't judge our status on Facebook."

The group wants to impose Shariah law in the secular nation. It has a long record of vandalizing nightspots, hurling stones at Western embassies and attacking rival religious groups.FPI spokesman Slamet Maarif said they were demanding an explanation of why Facebook had blocked the group's accounts while allowing ones that denounced its leaders and Islam.

"We want justice and no more discrimination against Islamic accounts," he said.

Facebook spokeswoman Putri Ariani said it allows people to use its social networking site to challenge ideas and raise awareness, but removes content that promotes hatred and violence against people with different views.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country, but has a secular government and a reputation as a tolerant, pluralist society that respects freedom of expression. Most Indonesians practice a moderate form of Islam, but a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.

Must Read

China imports grow in August for 1st time in 2...

Sep 8, 2016

China trade showed unexpected strength in August in a positive sign for global economic growth

Aid groups warn of crisis as Mongolia hit by...

Dec 21, 2016

Another unusually harsh winter in Mongolia that's decimating livestock and sending temperatures to...

Asian shares mixed as investors consider latest...

Jan 5, 2017

Asian stock indexes mixed as investors assess latest Fed meeting minutes; Japan shares slip as yen...

Chinese delegation open to meeting Trump's team...

Jan 11, 2017

A Chinese official says President Xi Jinping's delegation to the World Economic Forum is open to...

China exports shrink as Trump trade tensions loom

Jan 13, 2017

China's exports fell back into contraction again last month, signaling renewed weakness for the...

Sign up now!

Advertisement