12/3/2018 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – On December 2, an estimated 100, 000 Muslims dressed in white carrying Islamic flags gathered at the national monument in Indonesia’s capitol of Jakarta. The occasion was to mark the second anniversary of a mass protest that led to the downfall, and inevitably the arrest, of Jakarta’s Christian governor.
Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was the city’s first ethnic Chinese and second Christian governor. On December 2, 2016, thousands of Muslim hardliners gathered to rallies that demanded him be arrested for blasphemy. Later Basuki, known as Ahok, was arrested for blasphemy and sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of insulting the Quran. Ahok is still serving his sentence to date.
As tens of thousands of Islamists gather to commemorate the events of December 2, 2016 in what is being named the “212 Reunion” rally, organizers of this year’s rally have called for Muslims to shun political parties and those who supported Ahok.
The rally which was billed as a “reunion” for those that participated in the 2016 protest, quickly became a political stage for opposition leaders and critics of the incumbent Jokowi administration. UCA news reports that one of the protestors in attendance, Sutarjad, longs for a president who “really defends Islam”. As the upcoming 2019 election nears, Islamists state that it is “haram” (forbidden by Islamic Law) to vote for a presidential candidate backed by parties that support blasphemers.
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