An Australian man is facing more than a year in prison after spitting in the face of an imam at an Indonesian mosque.
Craig Abbas Abbas Abdullah McArthur has been charged with the alleged assault at a mosque in Bandung, which was captured on CCTV.
The footage has gone viral and shows a man wearing a baseball cap entering a mosque and talking to the imam before he appears to spit in his face. The imam flees as the man casually walks away.
Indonesian police said McArthur had been staying at a nearby hotel. They had used his passport to track him down and arrest him at Soekarno-Hatta airport as he tried to board a flight to Australia.
We immediately ask ed immigration to stop him and cancel him from leaving the country, said Bandung police chief Budi Sartono. We immediately pick ed up him at the airport and took him to the Bandung Police Station for interrogation. His resident visa expired and Australian embassy officials accompanied him to the police station, local media said.
The Indonesian news website Kumparan reported that McArthur had been charged with Article 335 and 315 of the criminal code, which regulates unpleasant acts and insults. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 months in prison.
In a Facebook post, McArthur denounced wrongdoing and claimed he was the victim. Stop crying all your racist tears, he wrote on Instagram. I am a Muslim and this is just racist, threatening a bule and laughing being a coward. A bule, an Indonesian word used to describe foreigners, especially those of European descent, is a Indonesian word used to describe foreigners.
The imam, Basri Anwar, said McArthur had been disturbed by the recitation of the Quran over a loudspeaker. When it's clean Friday, there s a recitation of the Quran, he said. I think he feels like he's being taken advantage of. McArthur has a teaching job as an English teacher and game developer, and his home town is Gosnells in Perth, Western Australia.
A government spokeswoman said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was standing ready to provide consular assistance to an Australian man detained in Indonesia. We are unable to provide further information due to privacy obligations, she said.
A 23-year-old Queensland man, Bodhi Mani Risby-Jones, apologised after he was arrested on a naked drunken rampage through the Indonesian province of Aceh.