Islamists March in Jakarta, Demanding Christian Governor Be Jailed for Blasphemy

Photo Credit: Gunawan Kartapranata
Photo Credit: Gunawan Kartapranata

JAKARTA, Indonesia (New York Times) Tens of thousands of Indonesians marched in Jakarta on Friday, demanding that the city’s first Christian governor in decades be jailed for blasphemy. The rally was a show of strength by conservative Islamic groups, who were offended by his earlier remarks about the Quran and want to weaken him as he runs for re-election.

The governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, is an ethnic Chinese Indonesian and the first Christian in nearly 50 years to govern Jakarta, capital of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

He has been a political target of some Islamic organizations since taking office in 2014. Some of those groups seized on comments he made in September to a group of fishermen, in which he lightheartedly cited a Quran verse that warns against taking Christians and Jews as friends.

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