Singapore Christian couple convicted for anti-Muslim booklets
Fri, May 29, 2009

SINGAPORE, 2009 (AFP) - A Christian Singaporean couple were found guilty of sedition on Thursday for distributing evangelical publications that cast Islam in a negative light, court officials said.

Ong Kian Cheong and his wife Dorothy Chan had been charged with distributing a seditious publication to two Muslims in October and March 2007 and sending a second such booklet to another Muslim in December that same year, a district court official told AFP.

The publications were found to have promoted feelings of ill-will and hostility between Christians and Muslims, the Straits Times said on its website.

A hearing was set for June 4 for mitigation pleas and sentencing.

The sedition charge carries a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to 5,000 Singapore dollars (3,437 US) or both.

Singapore, a multi-racial island nation, 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 the city-state's resident population but there are significant numbers of Malay Muslims, ethnic Indians and other groups.

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