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Indonesia: Islamist FPI and pro-Ahok protesters face off in Jakarta01:40

Indonesia: Islamist FPI and pro-Ahok protesters face off in Jakarta

Indonesia, Jakarta
January 17, 2017 at 11:07 GMT +00:00 · Published

Supporters and detractors of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as 'Ahok', faced off in front of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture in south Jakarta, Tuesday, as the Indonesian capital's first ethnic-Chinese governor continues to face blasphemy charges.

The rally was heavily policed, with pro-Ahok protesters and supporters of the hardline Islamist group the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) separated by barbed wire and a cordon containing dozens of police officers.

Purnama, who is a member of Indonesia's ethnic Chinese and Christian minority, is alleged to have insulted Islam by criticising his opponents' use of verses from the Quran during the Jakarta gubernatorial election campaign. If convicted, he could face five years in jail.

Criticism towards the the Jakarta governor began after he implied that the Quran's Al Maidah 51 verse, focusing on Muslim alliances with Jews and Christians, could be used to justify the idea that Muslims should not vote for a Christian governor.

FPI and their allies have pressed for Purnama's incarceration for the alleged offences, with the governor's supporters claiming that he is a victim of anti-Chinese and anti-Christian sentiment in a Muslim majority city.

Indonesia: Islamist FPI and pro-Ahok protesters face off in Jakarta01:40
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Supporters and detractors of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as 'Ahok', faced off in front of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture in south Jakarta, Tuesday, as the Indonesian capital's first ethnic-Chinese governor continues to face blasphemy charges.

The rally was heavily policed, with pro-Ahok protesters and supporters of the hardline Islamist group the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) separated by barbed wire and a cordon containing dozens of police officers.

Purnama, who is a member of Indonesia's ethnic Chinese and Christian minority, is alleged to have insulted Islam by criticising his opponents' use of verses from the Quran during the Jakarta gubernatorial election campaign. If convicted, he could face five years in jail.

Criticism towards the the Jakarta governor began after he implied that the Quran's Al Maidah 51 verse, focusing on Muslim alliances with Jews and Christians, could be used to justify the idea that Muslims should not vote for a Christian governor.

FPI and their allies have pressed for Purnama's incarceration for the alleged offences, with the governor's supporters claiming that he is a victim of anti-Chinese and anti-Christian sentiment in a Muslim majority city.

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