Blasphemy protests: Indonesian police investigating Christian governor
November 16, 2016
Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN)Indonesian police have confirmed that they are investigating the Christian governor of Jakarta for blasphemy in a case that previously triggered mass protests.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok, was accused by Islamic hardliners of insulting their religion after he quoted a Quranic verse in a stump speech.
The governor told Indonesians the holy book did not prohibit them from voting for a non-Muslim. There was widespread outrage after an edited video of his speech went viral.
Though Ahok has repeatedly apologized and said he did not intend to insult Islam or the Quran, on November 4 around
200,000 people marched on the Presidential palace in Jakarta to call for his ouster
The first Christian to run Indonesia’s biggest city, Ahok is a key ally of President Widodo — also known as Jokowi — and served as his deputy when Jokowi was governor.
The President has been under increasing pressure from political opponents who want to paint him as anti-Islamic, said Ismail.
“Ahok is an easy target,” Ismail told CNN. “He’s a stepping stone (to Jokowi). You see people no longer talking about the blasphemy case but about wanting to topple the government.”
On Saturday, Jokowi said the demonstrations against Ahok were a “waste of energy,” but refused to take the governor’s side.
“Since the beginning I have said that I would not intervene in any legal issues. Let the law enforcement personnel handle it,” the President said,
according to the Jakarta Post