Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has been found guilty of Blasphemy and sentenced to 2 years in prison, a clear indication that Jakarta is leading Indonesia down the dark road to Islamic fundamentalism.
The trial has been widely seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, tolerance lost.
His crime they say was suggesting that some people had abused a Quranic verse to block his re-election bid. Ahok was usurped by a wave of Islamic Fundamentalism and intolerance whipped up by his rivals.
Ahok said that some people had been “deceived” by other people using Al-Maidah 51, a Quranic verse some clerics believe prohibits Muslims from electing a non-Muslim leader.
Even prosecutors called for the blasphemy counts to be dropped for a lesser charge of “spreading hate,” but the judges ignored that recommendation as the Non-Muslim persecution continued.
His Successor is a Man on Intolerance
Anies Baswedan won an election beating out Ahok to be the City’s Mayor in religiously tense election. Hardline Islamists are now in control of Indonesia’s capital, a worrying change for foreign investors.
The campaign featured mass rallies led by a hardline Islamist movement, which has strengthened in recent years in a country long dominated by a moderate form of Islam. More than 80 per cent of Indonesia’s population professes Islam.
Baswedan, a respected scholar who many previously viewed as moderate, drew widespread criticism during the campaign when he aggressively courted the fundamentalist Islamic vote, appearing publicly with hardline Islamic leaders during anti-Purnama rallies.
“Going forward, the politics of religion is going to be a potent force,” said Keith Loveard, an analyst at Jakarta-based Concord Consulting and an author of books about Indonesian politics.
Should this wave of religious isolation of non-muslims continue Indonesia will find it difficult to attract foreign investment, tourism and other industries may well be at risk.