In the most populous Muslim country in the world, protesters came to the defense of the Governor-Christian. The former Governor of Jakarta Basuki Purnama Cahaya was sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy against Islam.
Angry and embittered supporters of the Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Cahaya Purnama, better known as Ahok, gathered in front of the courthouse, demanding the release of the Governor is a Christian. On the posters, “Bebaskan Ahok”, which means “freedom Ohoku”.
The Governor was sentenced to two years in prison after he was found guilty of blasphemy against the Koran. The charge was based on his pre-election speech in which he allegedly declared that his opponents deceive voters when I say that the Koran forbids Muslims to have non-Muslim leader.
“There is an article on blasphemy, according to which, even if you don’t intend to insult the Quran, but simply quoted it, you could be accused of blasphemy” — says a political analyst Boni Hargens.
Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent, is a “double-minority” in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world. According to observers, the judges could put pressure radical Muslim groups because they ignored the recommendation of prosecutors to biennial parole for Ahoka due to insufficient evidence.
The analyst Boni Hargens said that the case of Ajoka is part of a plan with the political games in the upcoming presidential elections. He warns that radical Muslims use religion to impose their extremist views all over the country.
“They want power in this country. And do not hide it,” says Boni Hargens.
Ahoka lawyers are preparing an appeal to the superior court, and his supporters continue to hold rallies. According to them, the Governor is a Christian symbol of hope Indonesia.
“He successfully implementing change in Indonesia. So when we talk about Choke, we’re really talking about ourselves, our dreams, our hopes, our expectations, about the future of Indonesian democracy,” continued Boni Hargens.