Indonesia Prosecutes Christian Governor for Blasphemy Against Qur’an

A Muslim man holds a banner that reads "Ahok in jail = fair government" during a rally outside the North Jakarta court where Jakarta's Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is on trial in Jakarta on December 13, 2016. 
Hardline Muslims rallied on December 13 under heavy police guard outside the Indonesian courthouse where Jakarta's Christian governor Purnama is standing trial in a high-profile blasphemy case that has gripped national attention. / AFP / Adek BERRY        (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indonesian court will prosecute Jakarta’s Christian governor who has been accused of blasphemy against the Qur’an, a judge announced on Tuesday. A panel of judges rejected a petition by the legal defense team of governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known by his nickname “Ahok,” to throw out the case because it had violated the politician’s human rights and disregarded procedural protocol. As a Christian and an ethnic Chinese, Mr. Purnama has two strikes against him in the world’s most Muslim country and hardline Islamic groups have protested his rule ever since he was elected in 2014. Last month, Islamic conservatives rose up against Ahok accusing the governor of having manipulated a verse from the Qur’an to support his claim that it is permissible for Muslims to be governed by non-Muslims. On November 4, a mob of 150,000 Islamic protesters staged a massive march in the capital city of Jakarta, demanding a death sentence for Ahok. Similar demonstrations took place in other cities throughout Indonesia. On Tuesday morning, hundreds more protesters dressed in white gathered outside the courthouse in north Jakarta chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and calling for the governor to be jailed. The lead judge on the panel, Dwiyarso Budi