An Indonesian Youtuber has sparked outrage in the Muslim-majority country after he uploaded a video in which he tempted people to break their fast during Ramadan in exchange for a lot of money.
The Youtuber, who goes by the handle hasanjr11, posted a video recently in which he goes around offering relatively low income citizens IDR10 million (US$651) if they eat a slice of pizza on the first day of Ramadan this year. Muslims are only allowed to break their fast after the sun sets.
In the video, hasanjr11 first approached a farmer and offered him the deal. The farmer, visibly conflicted, eventually refused the offer even after having picked up a slice of pizza. The Youtuber then gave him an envelope containing an unknown amount of money as a reward, which he said is to be spent on buying a meal to break the farmer's fast later in the day.
The Youtuber then approached a street cleaner, who immediately turned down the deal out of her conviction for her beliefs. Similarly, a group of small children and an office worker were also steadfast in their refusal of the offer, choosing religious duty over instant financial gratification. Like the farmer, they all received an envelope purportedly containing money.
To be fair, it's plausible that hasanjr11 wanted to showcase the pious side of his targets through the video (provided that it wasn't all staged). But, considering his controversies involving pranks and "social experiments" in the past, it seems far more likely that he was banking on outrageous content for clicks.
And Indonesian netizens were not very forgiving of this video.
Is @YouTube make available to report channel? I want you report channel hasanjr11. Absolutely suck channel – ; (@Rickymurdana) April 28, 2020
Buat Hasanjr11 silahkan ambil... pic.twitter.com/anOzCS1ecp– Ayi Jajat Nurjaman (@ZaFaJeffryDjaya) April 27, 2020. hasanjr11 please take one.
ternyata ramadan ini setan ga dilockdown, tapi lagi working from home melalui tubuh hasanjr11 – Rifqi (@_susucoklat) April 27, 2020It appears that during this Ramadan the devil is not in lockdown. He's working from home through hasanjr11's body.
Amid the controversy, hasanjr11 has taken down the video and uploaded an apology video on his Instagram account.
"I apologize to everyone for my inappropriate Youtube video. I admit I was 100 percent wrong and I don't want to justify myself in any way because I was wrong," he said in the apology video.
Still, hasanjr11's outrage-for-clout strategy, as is employed by many cringe-inducing Youtubers, appears to be working for him as he currently has 4.95 million subscribers.
Perhaps an apology for every outrageous video is worth it for the huge exposure, but we can't help but wonder if he would face greater repercussions – possibly legal – for this video if he was not himself a Muslim.