World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of people rallied in Jakarta on Friday in protest against the city's ethnic Chinese and Christian governor, further fuelling ethnic tensions ahead his re-election bid in February.
Dressed in white, thousands of members of several groups chanted anti-Ahok slogans surrounded by tight military and police security, but the demonstration was otherwise generally peaceful.
Government sources claim that the inauguration of Jokowi and Ahok (as their popularly known) has been delayed due to administrative reasons. However, for many Indonesians, the reason is quite different.
Joko Widodo is the outgoing governor of Jolo (central Java). Although a practicing Muslim, he is also a liberal. His deputy, Basuki Tjahaja Purnawa, is Christian and an ethnic Chinese, born in South Sumatra. Both Widodo and Purnawa have even been touted as possible candidates in the 2014 presidential elections.
The campaign against the Jokowi and Ahok ticket, especially against the Christian leader, has taken on a sense of urgency as hundreds of members of the Islamic Defence Front (FPI) invaded the streets to protest.
Gathered in front of Jakarta Provincial Legislative Council, Islamists warned government authorities that the new deputy governor will, as part of his mandate, manage 12 local agencies, including some Muslim organisations.
From their point of view, it is unacceptable that a non-Muslim should play any role in the life of Muslims, like supervising the language of the Qur'an or prayers. Instead, they want the government to ban non-Muslims from all key positions, including in the capital.
.Last Mod: 14 Ekim 2016, 14:53