Imprisonment required on Christian governor in Jakarta

Indonesian prosecutors have required a imprisonment for a Christian governor in Jakarta. He is seen guilty for blasphemy. Ahok, the Christian governor, mentioned that the Indonesian population is being deceived by his enemies in parliament. He mentioned that the other governors claim that Muslims that live by the Koran shouldn’t have a non-Muslim leader. A lot of Muslims reacted very angrily to his statement and this even led to a year imprisonment for the Christian governor.

There are quite a lot of people involved in this case. Of course the other governors in parliament but also the Indonesian population. Although more than 80 per cent of the Indonesian population is actually Muslim, there still is a small group directed more towards the south eastern part of Indonesia that are Christian. And I would definitely understand why they would be furious at this moment. The only Christian governor in parliament has now been imprisoned for basically just telling his opinion on the other governors.

I definitely think that Ahok didn’t deserve this imprisonment. And a few values actually collide in this whole situation. He didn’t discriminate anyone, he didn’t insult any one in my opinion, the Indonesian population might have a different opinion about it, but, he just mentioned his opinion and what he thinks. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest decision to claim that all Muslims that live according to the Koran can’t have a leader that is a non-Muslim, but in my opinion, this is not an insult. This is just what he sees and what he thinks. So imprisonment was definitely not deserved in this situation. I thought freedom of opinion counted for everyone living in Indonesia but clearly it didn’t to Ahok.

Ahok will also not be rechosen as the governor for the Christian party in Indonesia. So he won’t only be imprisoned, he won’t get his job back. As expected, he lost the battle to his Islamic enemies.

Basically I think that Ahok’s imprisonment is far from deserved. All he did was mention his opinion about his Islamic opponents in parliament. This happens all the time. If you would take a look at the debates in the Netherlands, you could see that all the ministers have a clear opinion about each other and these opinions are rarely ever positive.

Daan van Gils

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