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Indonesian bar sparks uproar with Muhammed drink promotion

A popular Indonesian bar chain is being investigated for blasphemy over a free alcohol promotion for patrons named Muhammed, police said Friday, after it sparked uproar in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

Alcohol is considered forbidden under Islamic law and while drinking is not prohibited for any religion in the secular country’s bars, the act itself is frowned upon by conservative Muslims.

In a now-deleted post, the Holywings bar offered a free bottle of gin for men named Muhammed and women named Maria — a popular figure in the Bible — every Thursday if they presented their ID cards.

At least two youth organisations have reported the chain for religious blasphemy, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison under Indonesian law, Jakarta police said.

Authorities launched an investigation into the bar’s promotion and warned the public not to raid any of the chain’s premises, police spokesperson Endra Zulpan said at a press conference on Friday.

The business was forced to issue an apology and claimed management was unaware of the promotion.


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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 10:03:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/indonesian-bar-sparks-uproar-with-muhammed-drink-promotion/article65561336.ece