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'Anti-Islam' couple jailed
Wed, 10 Jun 2009 12:06 AM
A Christian couple were jailed for eight weeks in Singapore on Wednesday for distributing evangelical publications that cast Islam in a negative light, a court spokesperson said.
A district court judge earlier found Singaporeans Ong Kian Cheong, 50, and Dorothy Chan, 46, guilty of sedition for "distributing seditious or objectionable publications," the spokesman told AFP.
The judge handed down the sentence on Wednesday.
Ong and his wife were charged after Muslims to whom they had given publications entitled 'The Little Bride' and 'Who is Allah?' complained they were offended by the contents.
Police also found 439 copies of 11 tracts deemed to be seditious at the couple's condominium when they were arrested in January last year, the Straits Times newspaper said on its website.
In their defence, Ong and his wife said they were not aware the contents of the publications were seditious.
Singapore, a multi-ethnic island nation that experienced racial riots in the 1960s, clamps down hard on anyone seen to be inciting communal tensions.
In 2005, two ethnic Chinese men were jailed for anti-Muslim blogs.
The following year, a Singaporean blogger received a stern warning after posting cartoons mocking Jesus Christ on his online journal.
Ethnic Chinese make up a majority of Singapore's resident population but there are significant numbers of Malay Muslims, ethnic Indians and other groups.