It was just a few weeks ago that U.S. vice-president took his family to mosque and Declared Indonesia’s ‘Moderate Islam an Inspiration to the World’
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Hundreds of supporters of Jakarta’s Christian governor sang patriotic songs outside the Indonesian capital’s City Hall on Wednesday to protest his imprisonment for blasphemy after a trial that drew concerns over rising religious intolerance.
Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is appealing his harsher-than-expected two-year jail sentence after being found guilty of insulting the Koran in the Muslim-majority country.
Purnama, the first ethnic Chinese and Christian leader to be elected as Jakarta’s governor, was immediately detained, on the judge’s orders, at the end of the trial on Tuesday.
While he was held in a police detention facility on Jakarta’s outskirts, Purnama’s supporters dressed in the national colors of red and white to gather at his office in a show of solidarity at the Dutch colonial-style City Hall.
The emotions unleashed by the case have sent shudders through Indonesia – a secular state that has religious freedom and diversity enshrined in the constitution, though 85 percent of its people are Muslim.
A Hindu spiritual leader from the holiday island of Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Harta, said Purnama’s guilty verdict meant minorities could be disadvantaged before the law in the future.
“It means that before the law, minorities will be increasingly oppressed because judges can’t do much in the face of the pressures they face,” he said.
Rights groups have condemned the verdict.
They fear Islamist hardliners are in the ascendancy in a country where most Muslims practise a moderate form of Islam and is home to sizeable communities of Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and people who adhere to traditional beliefs.
Purnama, who is an ally of President Joko Widodo, was put on trial late last year over allegations that he had insulted the Koran when he said political rivals were deceiving people by using a verse in from the Islamic holy book to say Muslims should not be led by a non-Muslim.
Islamist groups drew hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the street, calling for him to be sacked and jailed, scuppering his chances at re-election.
Though he remains popular for his record of getting things done, Purnama lost April’s divisive election to a Muslim rival who will take office in October.
Note how Reuters contradicts itself claiming “most Muslims” practice a (non-existent) moderate form of Islam then state that “hundreds of thousands” protested in the streets.
More detail in the article below that states these moderate-until-insulted-then-suddenly-hardliners wanted the Christian governor EXECUTED! So much so they marched to the Supreme Court. via ‘Islam Wants Domination’ Says Franklin Graham As Jakarta’s Christian Governor Is Jailed for Blasphemy
Sentencing came four days after radical Islamists marched to the Supreme Court to demand a heavy sentence for Purnama. The governor’s detractors have been demanding his imprisonment – and even his execution – ever since a remark on the campaign trail last fall was interpreted by some Muslims as blasphemous.
The claims triggered massive street protests, and are widely thought responsible for Purnama’s defeat to a Muslim challenger in elections last month. The remainder of his term was to have ended in October, but he was taken into custody immediately and his deputy will serve out the term.
Purnama, who says he will appeal, has denied the charges throughout.
Campaigning last September, he reportedly told voters that they were being lied to by people who were misquoting a verse from the Qur’an to back their argument that Muslims should not be ruled by non-Muslims. (Eighty-five percent of Jakarta’s residents are Muslims.)
His accusers claimed he had suggested it was the Qur’an itself that was wrong, although Purnama insists his target was not the Islamic scripture but those who misinterpreted it for political ends.
(The verse, Qur’an 5:51, reads in part, “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies.”)
Friends and allies.
More inspiration from Pence’s Indonesia, land of ‘moderate Islam,’ canes gay men 83 times:
Muslim authorities in the Indonesia province of Aceh inflicted an 83-caning punishment on two men, age 20 and 23, for the crime of being gay.
They were caned 83 times, on video, and before a crowd of hundreds.
More commentary via Indonesia: U.S. vs. Reality:
“That Pence should be saying this after the most divisive and sectarian election in Indonesian history is flabbergasting,” Australian National University associate professor Greg Fealy said.