South East Asia

Islamists call for Muslims to “defend Islam” and only vote for Muslims in Indonesia

Leaders from the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front have called for Muslims in the country to only vote for Muslims, in an open attack on the jailed Christian former governor of Jakarta.

At a rally held to commemorate last year’s demonstrations which were instrumental in leading to “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama being imprisoned for “blasphemy”, the chairman of the Islamic Defenders Front, Ahmad Sobri Lubis, stated: “”Indonesia is in need of more Islamic leaders from national to regional levels, who can defend Islam and make sure that Islamic teachings are applied … We don’t want people like Ahok to lead.”

Before mass protests organized by the Islamic Defenders Front and other Islamists, Ahok had been predicted to secure a second term as governor of the Indonesian capital. But his attempts to refute claims by Islamists that the Quran forbade Muslims to be government by non-Muslims led to him being charged with “blasphemy”.

The man who first accused Ahok has now been jailed for hate speech.