Muslims in Jakarta protest after Christian governor's Koran comments

Thousands of hardline Muslims in the Indonesian capital rallied against the city's ethnic Chinese and Christian governor for comments perceived as denigrating the Koran.

Some Muslims have demanded that Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama be prosecuted for blasphemy over off-the-cuff remarks suggesting that his opponents in next year's gubernatorial elections have fooled voters with Koranic verses to prevent him from winning another term.

"Send Ahok to prison!" protesters shouted, using Purnama's Chinese nickname.

Purnama, the Muslim-majority city's first ethnic Chinese governor who is also a Christian, has a reputation for tough-talking and no-holds-barred speeches.

His abrasive style has ruffled the feathers of city officials and other politicians. 

Purnama has apologized for the Koran remarks and the Indonesia Council of Muslim Scholars has also urged Muslims to forgive him. 

But his apology did not appease the more hardline Muslims. 

"If police fail to investigate Ahok in one week, we will come again with more people," said Rizieq Shihab, the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, a group known for smashing nightclubs selling alcohol. 

Last update: Fri, 14/10/2016 - 14:58

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