Thursday, November 17, 2016

Indonesian Governor Being Prosecuted For Blasphemy For Campaign Statement

In Indonesia, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (also known as "Ahok"), former Deputy Governor of Jakarta who has been serving as its governor since late 2014 has now been charged with blasphemy because of statements made in his campaign for re-election as governor in the upcoming February elections. As reported yesterday by AlJazeera, Ahok who is a member of the Chinese Christian minority in Indonesia angered Muslims when he accused his election opponents of misusing against him a Quranic verse that suggests Muslims should not choose non-Muslims as leaders. After more than 100,000 Muslims took to the streets to demand Ahok's prosecution, the police began an investigation and eventually concluded that the case should go to court for a determination of whether of not Ahok committed blasphemy.  If found guilty, he could be sentenced to 5 years in prison.  Ahok has apologized, saying he was criticizing his election opponents, not the Quran.