Thousands gathered at Jakarta mosque urged to vote for Muslim governor

 Reuters International

FEB 11, 2017 – 
Protesters pray during a rally against Jakarta incumbent governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama inside Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Beawiharta


By Johan Purnama and Agustinus Beo Da Costa

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Thousands of Indonesians gathered on Saturday at a mosque in central Jakarta, where religious leaders urged them to support a Muslim candidate during next week’s contentious election to select the capital’s governor.

Millions of Jakarta residents head to the polls on Wednesday to pick the next governor of the sprawling city, in a contest analysts say has shaped as a proxy fight ahead of a presidential election in 2019.

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population but recognises six religions and is home to hundreds of ethnic groups and adherents of traditional beliefs.

In Jakarta, the Christian and ethnic Chinese incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, faces two Muslim contenders – Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and former education minister Anies Baswedan.

Purnama is in the extraordinary situation of campaigning for election while he is on trial for blasphemy, making weekly court appearances to defend himself against charges of insulting the Muslim holy book, the Koran.



(Reporting by Johan Purnama and Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Additional reporting and writing by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

4 replies

  1. Ability should be given priority , not religion . There are many Muslim rulers ( king , president , prime minister ) in the world , can anyone be considered good ? Is general condition of the citizens of those countries , better than that of those countries governed by non – Muslims ? In fact , there is more resentment . I am not against Muslim government , but I favor ability . Religion should not be involved everywhere . We should not polarized people in the name of religion because when society is polarized , it is weaker section of the society which suffers . We can not deny that Muslims are weak whether it is technology or education or in the field of science , medicine , finance etc.

    • You made a valid point only that you ended on a rather stereotypical note. Are there empirical evidences to underscore your parting shot of “We can not deny that Muslims are weak whether it is technology or education or in the field of science , medicine , finance etc.”???
      Pls note, I’m not a Moslem.

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