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How can Islamic radicalism be countered after the imprisonment of the Christian governor of Jakarta?
Indonesian police have named the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front as a suspect. Rizieq Shihab mobilised thousands to put pressure on judges in a ‘blasphemy’ trial against Christian politician ‘Ahok’.
Freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and religious freedom are battles that are worth fighting.
‘Ahok’ is sentenced to two years of prison. The judges say the Christian politician “has caused anxiety, hurt Islam and divided Muslims.” Islamic radicals increase pressure on Christians.
The campaign was marked by violent demonstrations led by radical Muslims and a trial for alleged blasphemy. “Trust me, power comes from God and it too can be taken by God. Don’t be sad”, he told supporters.
Three churches have been banned for religious activities and another one was attacked in the last month. Banners against Christian candidate Basuki Tjahaja "Ahok" were rife all over Jakarta.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, led the race with 43% of the votes. He is the first Christian who governs the city and is currently under trial for blasphemy charges.
Outside the heavily guarded court, those opposing Ahok chanted, “Jail Ahok, jail Ahok, jail Ahok now”. Muslim clerics refer to the Christian politician as a “son of Satan”.
“Pray that God will protect the churches in the country”, say believers after 50,000 Muslims rallied against alleged “blasphemy” of Christian Governor of Jakarta Basuki Ahok Thahaja Purnama.