Ahok’s Blasphemy Trial on Indonesia’s national TV and mob justice threatening pluralism in every Muslim country


Ahok wept during the trial and insisted his comments were aimed at politicians “incorrectly” using a Quranic verse against him, not at the verse itself.

Indonesia blasphemy case: Emotional scenes as Ahok trial begins

Source: BBC

There were emotional scenes in court on the first day of the blasphemy trial of Jakarta’s governor, a Christian of Chinese descent.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, cried as he denied allegations he insulted Islam.

Mr Purnama is the first non-Muslim governor of Indonesia’s capital in 50 years.

The case is being seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

The prosecution said Mr Purnama insulted Islam by misusing a Koranic verse which suggests Muslims should not be ruled by non-Muslims, to boost public support ahead of February’s governorship election.

He insisted his comments were aimed at politicians “incorrectly” using a Koranic verse against him, not at the verse itself.

If convicted, he faces a maximum five-year jail sentence. After the short hearing, the trial was adjourned until 20 December.

Rights groups say the authorities have set a dangerous precedent in which a noisy hardline Islamic minority can influence the legal process, says the BBC’s Rebecca Henschke in Jakarta.

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Freedom of Speech: A Core Islamic Value!

The specter on national television is really putting Secularism on trial for every Muslim majority country, either you have it or you don’t

The Muslim Times has a large collection of articles to expose the fallacy of the blasphemy politics in the Muslim majority countries


Jakarta Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, arriving for his trial for alleged blasphemy at a district court in Jakarta on Tuesday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

3 replies

  1. The Muslim Times stands for freedom of speech and religious freedom of the Christians and every one in the Muslim majority countries.

    And of course we want the Muslims to enjoy their freedoms in the West, Russia, China and India.

  2. Blasphemy Trial Tests Pluralism in Mostly Muslim Indonesia

    Source: WSJ


    Updated Dec. 13, 2016 1:41 a.m. ET

    Jakarta’s Christian governor delivers tearful defense, asks court to dismiss charges of insulting Quran

    JAKARTA, Indonesia—The Christian chief of one of the world’s largest mostly Muslim cities delivered an emotional defense at the start of his blasphemy trial Tuesday, a politically charged case that has become a test of pluralism in this young democracy.

    Hundreds of people had gathered outside the courthouse in central Jakarta to demand that Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama be jailed even before the verdict, carrying on from a series of massive street protests. They were countered by dozens of supporters of the governor—also the most prominent politician in Indonesia from the ethnic Chinese minority.

    The small courtroom was filled to its capacity, about 80 people. In an unusual public display for Mr. Purnama, a blunt-talker often described as brash, he shed tears while telling the panel of five judges how his Muslim godparents had taught him Islamic values while he was growing up, and how insulting Islam would be tantamount to showing them disrespect.


    He said he intended no insult during his speech in September, in which he lightheartedly referred to a verse in the Quran that says Muslims should not take Christians or Jews as leaders.

    The remark, he said, was directed at politicians who use the verse incorrectly “because they don’t want to compete fairly in the elections.” He added that, “in this case, perhaps my language might have given the wrong perception or interpretation from what I had intended, or meant.”

    Mr. Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, concluded by saying he objected to the charges and asked the court to dismiss them “so I can go back to serving the citizens of Jakarta and developing the city.”

    The trial continues next Tuesday, and is expected to last several weeks. If convicted, Mr. Purnama, 50 years old, faces up to five years in prison.

    He has previously apologized for the remarks. But excerpts from his speech, disseminated widely via social media, sparked widespread anger, stoked by hard-line Islamist groups long opposed to having a non-Muslim hold an elected office with authority over Muslims.

    The vast majority of Jakarta’s roughly 10 million people are Muslim.

    The tensions coincide with fears of Islamist terrorism as Indonesia enters the holiday season, when Western tourist numbers increase and churches have been targeted in past years.

    On Saturday, police said they had foiled a plot to bomb the presidential palace by a female suicide bomber with links to Islamic State, the latest in a string of attacks or attempts this year.

    All but one of the more than 100 blasphemy prosecutions in Indonesia between 2005 and 2014 ended in conviction, according to Amnesty International.


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