Anti-Ahok campaign in Indonesia

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 18 May 2017, 15:17:09

Anti-Ahok campaign in Indonesia

Many Indonesians have become spooked by the growing sway of hardline Islamist groups after they campaigned for the electoral defeat and imprisonment of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, according to a global media report Thursday.

Both the first ethnic Chinese and the first Christian to run the country’s capital, he was accused of insulting Islam by referring to a verse in the Koran during a campaign speech. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators joined rallies against him.

The anti-Ahok campaign was widely seen as a prelude to the next national election in 2019, when conservative and Islamist forces will seek to defeat Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s pluralist president who is popularly known as Jokowi and an Ahok ally.

The effort to ban the group is “part of a much bigger plan the palace has to limit the impact of this kind of Islamist mobilisation against Jokowi”, said Gregory Fealy of Australian National University.

Now the Indonesian government is fighting back with a drive to outlaw a hardline Muslim group linked to the mass protests against him.

Hizbut Tahrir, which has operations worldwide, seeks the non-violent establishment of a caliphate for all the world’s Muslims, which would be ruled according to Islamic law. It boasts tens of thousands of members in Indonesia, where it has operated for decades.

- SZ
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