The Jakarta Post ISIS Cartoon Blasphemy
The chief editor of The Jakarta Post newspaper in Muslim-majority Indonesia has been named a suspect in a blasphemy case ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images

An Indonesian newspaper rejected accusations of blasphemy for a cartoon mocking the Isis (Islamic State) terror group, saying it was amazed police would investigate the publication for criticising violence carried out in the name of religion.

Police named The Jakarta Post editor-in-chief, Meidyatama Suryodiningrat, as a suspect in a blasphemy case stemming from a caricature published in July depicting Islamic State (IS) militants executing prisoners below a flag similar to that used by the group.

The sketch was deemed as potentially offensive to Islam as the IS logo on the black banner was replaced by a skull and crossbones.

The pirate-like symbol thus appeared below the Arabic religious phrase "Laa ilaaha illallaah", meaning "there is no God but Allah" and contained the words "Allah, Mohamed and Apostle", which are sacred to Muslims. Both slogans are part of the original IS flag.

Following the publication, an Islamic group in the capital - the Jakarta Preachers' Corps - filed a complaint against the newspaper, saying it had insulted Islam.

Earlier this week, police spokesman Col Rikwanto said that Suryodiningrat was to be summoned for questioning as a suspect in the case.

"We are amazed because the fact is we did not commit a criminal act as accused," Suryodiningrat said.

"What we produced was a journalistic piece that criticised the Isis movement, which has carried out violence in the name of religion.

"It means that the Isis caricature was not blasphemous. We all know that Isis is an organisation that is banned in Indonesia and across almost the entire world," the editor added.

Rights groups, including Amnesty International and the Alliance of Independent Journalists, criticised the move by police saying it threatened press freedom. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.