Ahok, Jakarta’s former governor, released after jail term for blasphemy


Ahok the former governor, the unlucky victim of blasphemy politics. The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles to refute blasphemy laws. 

Source: The Guardian

Indonesian politician Basuki Tjahaja Purnama freed amid rumours he may seek to resurrect his political fortunes

By Kate Lamb in Jakarta
Thu 24 Jan 2019

Jakarta’s former governor Basuki Tjahaja ‘Purnama, also known as Ahok’. Photograph: Adi Weda/EPA
Jakarta’s former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, best known as “Ahok”, has been released from prison after serving out his controversial two-year sentence for insulting Islam.

The Indonesian politician was controversially jailed in May 2017 after a court found him guilty of blasphemy for a comment he made while campaigning for re-election.

Last year a movie documenting his life, “A Man Called Ahok” was released in Indonesian cinemas, igniting rumours he plans to resume his political career upon his release.

He walked free from the high-security Mako Brimob detention facility in Depok, West Java, early Thursday morning after receiving more than three months’ in remissions.

Ahok – who in a recent letter from prison asked his supporters to refer to him by his initials “BTP” rather than his Chinese nickname – was met by outside the prison by supporters clad in red, blue and white shirts, chanting “BTP, BTP, BTP”.

The jailing of the former governor – who an anomaly in Indonesian politics as a minority Christian and Chinese – was widely condemned by rights groups, with critics saying the sentence was a blow to religious tolerance and free speech, while others suggested the Indonesian judiciary had succumbed to mob rule.

Doctored footage of Ahok’s comments – which made it appear he had directly insulted the Qur’an rather than the conservative Islamic clerics citing it – spread quickly in 2017, sparking huge Islamist-inspired political protests that have had a lasting impact on the politics of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.


Suggested reading

Urdu Videos: Ghamidi About Blasphemy Laws

Freed by court, Pakistani Christian woman still a prisoner

The Muslim Times’ Collection to Refute Blasphemy Laws

Laughter is the Best Medicine for Mullah’s Obsession with Blasphemy


5 replies

  1. Everyone has the right of free speech as long as it isn’t diredtly hurting an entire community. His comment can be interpreted differently based on different types of people. Indonesia is a Muslim majority country therefore people would definitely strike anger at him because of his comment. However, it is fair to remeber that if his comment was only stating a point and not a direct insult to Islam, accusing him of blasphemy is wrong. Although, I have read a couple of articles suggesting that he felt many politicians use verses from the Qur’an to manipulate audiences. Personally, as a Muslim myself, I believe this is wrong because of their intention since they are only reciting verses to attract people into believing them, which is selfish. Accordingly, we cannot truly understand whether or not he wanted to insult Islam, but only he knows what he meant and should probably never comment that way ever again since the public will not support him due to the majority, who are Muslims.

  2. I do not believe it is good practice to offend others, whether it is because they are disabled, have a different colour or belief, etc. It is sad if you can’t keep your views to yourself and feel the need to insult others, but it does happen. That is not freedom of speech, just ignorance and bad manners. Unfortunately there are many who think it is their right to attack others who hold different views, and we see that a great deal within Islamic countries, starting with the home of Islam namely Saudi Arabia, and others such as Pakistan, Indonesia, etc. And it doesn’t look that things will change for the better soon. Attaturk in Turkey was faced with similar problems, and he abolished the primitive, illiterate mullahs who were preaching adverse versions of Islam which they themselves did not understand, but used to indoctrinate other ignorant people.. The world is supposed to be moving forward, but that does not seem to be the case in reality. Live and let live within reason without hurting others.

  3. I agree with the above comments; unfortunately the world we live in, everyone is quick to judge the words and actions of others. No one has the right to judge anyone, except God. This world would be a much more tolerant place if we all reformed ourselves first and became better human beings.

  4. I strongly reject the blasphemy law. This law is agsinst the core of Al Quran, the truth of Islam.

    Islam teach us to forgive other false or mistake, even an offensive word.
    This blasphemy law is in Islamic countries only. There is no blasphemy law in Christian countries.
    So we should demand strongly to abolish the blasphemy law.
    What do you think —Ahmadiyyah?

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