Indonesia: Ahmadiyya Muslims not part of anti-Ahok demonstration on Friday

Ahok’s statement might offend some Muslims in the country since the video, during which he allegedly defamed Islam, was selectively edited and people, therefore, could not hear the full context of his statement.

 

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama is in the spotlight amid a planned rally by thousands of hardline Muslims on Friday demanding that he be charged with blasphemy for saying that some people had been “deceived” by other people using Al-Maidah 51, a verse in the Quran.

The governor has apologized for the incident, saying he did not intend to insult the Quran, but the apology has failed to appease the anger of hard-line Muslims.

The Ahmadiyah community, an Islamic sect regarded as heretical by mainstream Muslims and persecuted in Indonesia, said that they would not take part in Friday’s demonstration.

Aryudi Prastowo, head of Ahmadiyah’s East Jakarta and Bukit Duri branch, said on Thursday that they would respect Ahok as the legitimate governor of Jakarta.

Aryudi added that Ahok’s statement might offend some Muslims in the country since the video, during which he allegedly defamed Islam, was selectively edited and people, therefore, could not hear the full context of his statement.

“If you see the full video you will be aware that Ahok was only expressing his concern about the issue without trying to defame the Quran,” he said.

In July 2015, the Ahmadiyah congregation in Bukit Duri, South Jakarta, became a target for persecution by a hard-line group.

At the time, the Jakarta administration sealed a house that had been used as a place of worship by Ahmadiyah followers, after a crowd of locals objected to Friday prayers at the house and claimed the congregation had committed blasphemy against Islam.

Ahok urged the South Jakarta administration not to seal the mosque, but a red notice remains on the property’s fence to this day, while a banner opposing the minority group still hangs nearby and no Friday prayers have since taken place there.

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