Indonesia’s Blasphemy Debacle
Andreas Harsono, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch
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Last week, the popular governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or Ahok” as he is affectionately known, was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment for blasphemy against Islam. The judgement stipulated that not only was Ahok guilty of blasphemy but also that non-Muslims cannot discuss the interpretation of Quranic verses and, more problematically, that non-Muslims cannot be in leadership positions over Muslims.
Today we discuss the history and the implications of this ruling for the social fabric of the Republic as well as for President Joko Widodo’s ambitious economic plans.
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