|Jakarta's Governor sits on the defendant's chair at the start of his |
trial hearing at North Jakarta District Court
The Islamo-Fascist Police State
(UK Telegraph) - Jakarta’s Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, wept in court on Tuesday, during a blasphemy trial that is being seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia.
Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, stands accused of insulting Islam on the campaign trail in September after he told voters they should not believe religious leaders who used a specific verse in the Koran to claim that Muslims should not be led by non-Muslims.
He has since repeatedly apologised for his statements, which provoked public anger. In his opening statement in court, he insisted his comments were aimed at politicians “incorrectly” using the verse and denied any intention to offend.
“As a person who grew up in Islamic circles, it is not possible for me to insult Islam,” he said, stressing his great respect for the Muslim religion.
“I did not intend to misinterpret Surah Al Maidah 51 [the verse], nor commit blasphemy,” he told the judges, breaking down in tears. “In my statement, I referred to certain politicians who had misused Surah Al Maidah 51 to avoid fair competition prior to upcoming regional elections,” said Purnama.
he governor, a Christian and member of the country’s ethnic Chinese minority, is an anomaly as the first non-Muslim leader of Indonesia’s sprawling capital, Jakarta, in over 50 years.
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