Jakarta’s Governor Officially Jailed For Blaspheming

Ngebray.com,- Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or popularly known as Ahok is the outgoing governor of Indonesian capital Jakarta, the controversial Chinese Christian politician who was put on trial in December. He was accused of insulting Islam while campaigning for reelection. He quoted a verse from the Quran to prove to his supporters that there were no restrictions on Muslims voting for a non-muslim politician. He jailed after being found guilty of insulting Islam.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country. 200 Million people or 87% of the population are followers of Islam. They only recommended a year in jail with two years probation. The verdict comes amid concern about the growing influence of Islamist groups. The verdict is a blow to a gov’t that has sought to quell radical groups and soothe inverstors’ concerns that the country’s secular values were at risk.

Picture from bbc.com

There were mass rallies calling for Ahok incarceration. Ahok lawyers called a sentencing unfair. The ruling is harsher than expected and his supporters are protesting the 2-year jail sentence. The sentence was even heavier than what prosecutors asked for. They held mass protests during a tumultuous election campaign that ended with Ahok losing his bid for another term as governor. One of Ahok’s supporter said, “They sentenced him because they were pressured by the masses. Ahok should’ve been cleared of the charges.”

Purnama told the court that he would appeal the ruling.