Jakarta governor named suspect in blasphemy case


JAKARTA: Jakarta’s Christian governor was formally named a suspect on blasphemy allegations on Wednesday, after claims that he insulted Islam sparked a violent mass protest by Muslim hardliners in the Indonesian capital. After a lengthy preliminary investigation, police said that the allegations against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is also a member of Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese minority, should go to trial. Religious groups in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country had demanded that Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, be prosecuted for allegedly insulting the Koran while campaigning in elections for the Jakarta governorship. The governor had accused his opponents of using a Koranic verse, which suggests Muslims should not choose non-Muslims as leaders, in order to trick people into voting against him. The blasphemy claims sparked much anger among Muslims — both moderate and hardline — and over 100,000 protesters took to the streets in Jakarta on November 4 demanding that Purnama be prosecuted, with the protest turning violent as night fell.



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