Indonesian Muslims demand Christian governor be punished for ‘blasphemy’

Indonesian Muslims demand Christian governor be punished for ‘blasphemy’
Muslims protest, demanding arrest of Christian governor of Jakarta for "blasphemy." (Image: Screen grab of Straits Times video, YouTube)

[Ed. – This story has so many of the usual hallmarks, including deceptive editing of a video seeming to show the governor criticizing the Quran.  Reportedly, the governor was actually stating that malcontents had misquoted or misconstrued the Quran.  It’s possible the protesters would have been upset over that as well.  But what they’re upset and are rioting about is something that did NOT happen.]

Basuki, the target of the protestors’ anger, is an ethnic-Chinese Christian who has been generally regarded as an effective, straight-talking administrator.

Popularly known by the nickname Ahok, he rose from the position of deputy governor to succeed then-governor Joko Widodo, after Widodo was elected Indonesia’s president in 2014. …

But from the outset he was opposed by fundamentalists who argue – citing the Qur’an – that Muslims should not be governed by “infidels.” …

With Basuki campaigning for re-election in February 2017, he has now run into trouble that could cost him not just the race, but his freedom. And sura 5:51 of the Qur’an is at the center of the controversy.

It erupted in late September when in a stump speech on an island off the coast of Jakarta, Basuki told his audience they should vote according to their conscience and not feel obliged to vote for him.

According to some Indonesian news reports, he told his listeners they had been lied to by people misquoting sura 5:51. What his detractors claim he said, however, was that they had been lied to by the verse of the Qur’an itself.

Further complicating the matter, police later acknowledged that a video clip which went viral on social media had been deliberately edited to make it appear that the governor was criticizing the Qur’an.

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