Jakarta muslims march against city governer who is Christian
Indonesia, Jakarta: The Hardliner mindset seems to be on the rise in one of the most tolerant Islamic countries in the world, Indonesia. To the surprise of many, thousands of hardline Muslim youths lodged a strong protest on the streets of Jakarta against the capital's Christian governor and asking for the jailing of the Chinese governer Basuki Tjahja, a Christian and the first ethnic Chinese in the job
The protest was organised after the Friday prayers and slogans were raised against the governor whom the Muslims have accused of blasphemy.
Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, he Jakarta's first ethnic Chinese governor in 2014. he emerged as a tough reformed and had recently come under attack from Muslim groups for comments about the holy book of Muslims, Koran.
The Muslims of the country are opposed to the rise of his power of Basuki. Muslims hailing from various hardline groups, dressed in white on Friday gathered on the streets and chanted anti-Ahok slogans.
During the agitation, the military and police security was raised in the region. The Secretary General of Forum Umat Islam, Muhammad al Khaththath asserted that the leaders should be Muslim 'because that is what the Koran calls for.'
The protest was organised by the hardline Islamic Defenders Front, which is also known for frequently agitating over the Purnama issue. Ahmad Ishomuddin, a senior official at Nahdlatul Ulama, told Reuters that his organisation did not support the protest, and that violence went against religious teachings.
Urging Muslims to remain calm and to forgive Purnama over the recent comments, Ishomuddin said, "This could be dangerous," adding "Ahok, whose tongue slipped, has apologised."
Notably, Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority nation and the vast majority of its population practice a moderate form of the religion. The country also has a large ethnic Chinese majority and most of them follow Buddhism.