Jakarta Moves Toward Fundamentalism as Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama Guilty of Blasphemy

Jakarta Moves Toward Fundamentalism as Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama Guilty of Blasphemy

Jakarta Moves Toward Fundamentalism as Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama Guilty of Blasphemy

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.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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