14 December 2016
While more than a thousand Muslim hardliners rallied outside the courthouse yesterday to call for his head over allegations of blasphemy, Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was in a small but packed courtroom, making an impassioned plea for his innocence.
Reading from a prepared script to register his “not guilty” plea before the judges, the Chinese Christian politician choked with emotion and wept as he mentioned his intimate ties to a Muslim family that he said had adopted him when he was a boy.
… “While grievances with Ahok should not be dismissed as purely religiously driven – claims of corruption and policies biased towards the middle-class ethnic Chinese minority are allegedly aplenty – mass mobilisation was possible precisely because of the use of religious rhetoric,” said Ms Nursheila Muez, an inter-faith research analyst from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
SRP / Online / Print
Last updated on 14/12/2016