THOUGHTS AND COFFEE #11: In a trial of tolerance, Indonesia fails

The Ahok trial has come to an end. The judges ruled Ahok guilty of blasphemy and sentenced him to two years in prison. The sentence was higher than the prosecution’s demands — 2 years of probation and 1 year in prison if Ahok reoffended — and was considered an unfair decision by many of his supporters and the general public following the trials.

Justice has failed. If Ahok’s trial did anything positive, it showed the world that Indonesia’s blasphemy laws belong not in a democratic and plural society.  It also showed that Indonesia may as well fall into extremist clutches.

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THOUGHTS AND COFFEE #10: Jakarta changes leadership

The quick count results of the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections show that Anies-Sandi has secured the majority vote. As shown below, Anies-Sandi is in the lead with 58%, leaving Ahok-Djarot behind with 42%. As history may show, quick count results tend to not be that far off the mark. So, Jakartans will have to welcome Anies-Sandi as their new governor for the next period.

 

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As seen on Jakarta Post website

 

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THOUGHTS AND COFFEE #4: Towards a ‘greener’ Indonesia?

In October 2016, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) launched their first demonstration against Jakarta’s Chinese-Christian governor, Basuki Purnama, or better known as “Ahok”. Their chant was to not let Jakarta — a city that is by character pluralistic although Muslims and Javanese make up the majority — be governed by a leader who is not Muslim and Javanese. They quoted scripture, specifically a verse from the Quran (Qs. Al-Maidah: 51), which they interpret does not allow Muslims to elect or be led by a leader who is not a Muslim.

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THOUGHTS AND COFFEE #2: A volatile brew of politics and hardline Islam in Indonesia

The year is 2030, fourteen years after the united uprising of the White Cloaks in Indonesia. Trade with the outside world has stifled. The air is polluted with the continuous raucous calls to prayer. Children and adults travel the streets in constant fear. Women have it the hardest; they have to cover themselves from head to toe in black garb. Any women found not wearing the obligatory black garb, be they of other religious affinity, shall be punished by stoning. Any form of expression that contradicts the values of the White Cloaks is punished by death. Apostasy and atheism are both met with the cold, hard end of a steel cudgel.

Does that sound dystopian enough for you? It might not be fiction for long.

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