Jakarta Governor Named Blasphemy Suspect

Jakarta, 16 Safar 1438/16 November 2016 (MINA) – After a full-day case screening yesterday, the Indonesian national police on Wednesday named Jakarta Governor Basuki Thahaja Purnama “Ahok” as blasphemy suspect.

Ahok, who is running for re-election, is blocked from leaving the country throughout the following investigation.

Ari Dono Sukmanto, chief of the National Police criminal investigation department told reporters, “Even though there was no consensus, the dominant opinion is that this case should be settled in court.”

However, Sukmanto said Ahok is not being detained because investigators and Moslem scholars were deeply divided over whether the comments Ahok made were considered blasphemous.

Ahok has come under the spotlight as a video went viral showing him conducting a blasphemy on Islam during his speech in one of the Seribu Islands, Indonesia in September. On that event, Ahok asked the public not to be fooled by people who use Al-Quran chapter al Maidah verse 51 to attack him.

As a result, millions of Indonesians rallied in central Jakarta and some other provinces to show  what they called “Defend AlQuran” act, blaming the blasphemy by Ahok, where they demanded the prosecution of the governor.

Three weeks after the rally, the Indonesian national police began to conduct a case screening in which they heard testimonies  from 29 witnesses and 39 experts for a 10 hour closed-door session.

Ahok told reporters shortly after the announcement that he accepted the verdict openly, said “I think the national police have been professional and transparent in investigating the case.”

Chief of Police Tito Karnavian in his speech today called the public to remain calm and  entrust the case to the investigation team.(L/R04/R03)


Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)