Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – Governor of Jakarta – has been found “guilty” of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced to two years in prison.
Purnama (nicknamed “Ahok”) is the first ethnically Chinese Christian governor in Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim country.
As reported by Reuters, “Tuesday’s guilty verdict for Basuki Tjahaja Purnama comes amid concern about the growing influence of Islamist groups, who organized mass rallies during a tumultuous election campaign that ended with Purnama losing his bid for another term as governor.”
Purnama is expected to appeal. If Purnama is unsuccessful in his appeal, he will be barred for running for office again for the rest of his life.
In a statement, the chairman of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) – Charles Santiago – said “Indonesia was thought to be a regional leader in terms of democracy and openness. This decision places that position in jeopardy and raises concerns about Indonesia’s future as an open, tolerant, diverse society.”
Purnama has already been taken to a prison in East Jakarta. His supporters were shocked, some openly weeping in the streets. There has also been widespread outrage on social media.
The so-called “blasphemous” statement
All Governor Purnama said was that his political rivals were “deceiving people” by using a Koran verse to argue that a non-Muslim should not lead a Muslim community.
Apparently, just saying that was enough for Purnama to be jailed for blasphemy.
It’s a total and disgraceful travesty of justice.
Indonesia’s “moderate” image collapsing
Indonesia is often held up as a moderate country, where secularism holds power over Islamism. The guilty verdict against Purnama is speeding up the collapse of that moderate image.
While Indonesia’s government says they are fighting back against extremism, it seems that they are losing.
The elites must be worried: If Indonesia falls, what country will the politically correct crowd use as their next “moderate” example? Perhaps that’s why they’ve been so silent on the horrendous bigotry expressed towards Purnama. In just one of many examples, an Imam called Purnama, “sinful filth.”
And yet, our “tolerant” and “open-minded” elites have not come to Purnama’s defence or spoken out against his mistreatment.
What a surprise.