08 Jul 2015 Articles No comments

The Most Problematic Kind of 'Privilege'

We need to be talking about the privilege that matters most. Much has been written about privilege in academic settings over the past few decades. There's the…

Read more

17 Sep 2015 Europe News No comments

Church leaders lobby Israeli president over cuts to Christian schools

Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Martin say the schools are facing 'impossible cuts' Europe’s Church leaders have urged the president of Israel to resolve a cri…

Read more

30 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Is it true that Catholics must totally and without question obey every dictate from their parish priest?

Full Question Is it true that Catholics must totally and without question obey every dictate from their parish priest? Answer Certainly not! There …

Read more

04 Oct 2014 Galleries and Compilations Comments (1)

Top 8 Popes Who Died Violently

08. Pope St Peter 13 October 64 A.D.   As the First Pope of the Universal Church, and incumbent leader of all Christians during the great persecut…

Read more

01 Oct 2014 Exhortations Comments (7)

To a Catholic; an exhortation to Confession

My dear, it is important to understand that sin is a very serious thing. It should never be easy to go to confession as such. Since you already have that "sense…

Read more

03 Jun 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Australia Europe Middle East Middle East - Africa News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

Manchester United's Manager, Jose Mourinho to be Pope Francis for Film Animation

The New Portuguese Manager of the great Manchester United Football club, Jose Mourinho who just in the recent days signed a new contract deal as new manager of …

Read more

26 Sep 2016 News No comments

CT scan reveals Biblical discovery in ancient scroll

An ancient scroll's charred remains were discovered after a fire at the Dead Sea. Scientists believed they would never discover what was written inside - until …

Read more

31 May 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Is it a sin to work on Sunday?

I recently heard a priest say that we should only do things like visit the sick or elderly and not do unnecessary work on Sundays. I can’t visit the sick or eld…

Read more

26 Jan 2017 Q&A Comments (3)

Can an Atheist Go to Heaven?

Full Question My question is this: can an atheist go to heaven? Thank you for your time. Answer If someone does not come to believe in God because of s…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Catholic governor faces massive Islamist protest over Koran remarks

Protesters in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta called for the governor to be arrested

Tens of thousands of hardline Muslims marched on Friday on the centre of the Indonesian capital to demand the arrest of its minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy.

Fearing violence, police put on a show of force supported by soldiers and public order officers, while embassies and some shops closed and Jakarta’s normally traffic-clogged streets were nearly empty of cars.

The predominantly male demonstrators, most wearing white shirts and skull caps, massed at the Istiqlal mosque for the protest following weekly Friday prayers and marched on the nearby presidential palace. Large protests also took place in other cities including Medan on Sumatra, Makassar in Sulawesi and Malang in East Java.

Associated Press reporters witnessed members of an Islamic student group throwing plastic water bottles and other objects at riot police, but generally the massive demonstration appeared to have gone off without major incident.

The accusation of blasphemy against Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese and minority Christian who is an ally of the country’s president, has galvanised his political opponents in the Muslim-majority nation of 250 million, and given a notorious group of hardliners a national stage.

The Islamic Defenders Front, a vigilante group that wants to impose Shariah law, is demanding Ahok’s arrest after a video circulated online in which he joked to an audience about a passage in the Koran that could be interpreted as prohibiting Muslims from accepting non-Muslims as leaders. The governor has apologised for the comment and met with police.

“We are here because we want to defend the verses of God that have been abused by Ahok," said Nasrullah Achmad, who came from Bekasi, a Jakarta satellite city, with dozens of others from his Islamic study group. They raised clenched fists and shouted “God is Great."

“Only one thing can stop us: Ahok’s arrest," said Achmad.

Some protesters snapped selfies of themselves wearing headbands emblasoned with “Arrest Ahok" and others cheered as speakers denounced him with hate-filled language. Many held aloft flags and banners with slogans such as “Ahok is an enemy of Islam."

Muslim protesters march in Jakarta ((AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Muslim protesters march in Jakarta ((AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Blasphemy is a criminal offence in Indonesia and prosecutions have increased in the past decade though most people practise a moderate form of Islam. Amnesty International documented 106 convictions between 2004 and 2014 with some imprisoned for up to five years.

Television showed Ahok visiting a Jakarta neighbourhood and talking to residents, who greeted him enthusiastically.

President Joko “Jokowi" Widodo and other national figures had called for a peaceful demonstration amid fears Islamic State group supporters might try to cause chaos.

The simmering political climate has provided an opening for the Islamic Defenders Front to burnish its credentials as protector of Indonesia’s majority faith at the expense of mainstream Muslim groups.

“Upholding the law is an obligation," the Front’s leader, Rizieq Shihab, said as she stood on top of a car outside the palace. “If Ahok is not arrested, we will stay here," he said.

Ahok, who is seeking a second term as Jakarta governor, is popular with the city’s middle class. He is adored as a blunt speaker who doesn’t tolerate corruption and articulates a vision to make the chaotic, dysfunctional city more like clean, orderly and efficient Singapore.

But the anti-corruption stance has made him enemies, and the evictions of thousands of the city’s poorest people to make way for urban improvement has stoked anger and resentment and played to a stereotype of Chinese as exploiters of Indonesia’s poor Muslim masses.

On the national stage, Ahok is ranged against former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose son is a candidate for Jakarta governor, a position that is a stepping stone to national leadership.

Associated Press journalists Ali Kotarumalos, Andi Jatmiko and Stephen Wright contributed to this story




  1. Bud Reply

    A classic example of 1) an intolerant cult of a religion and 2) a classic example of claiming they are a ‘peaceful religion" which further demonstrates and PROVED how FALSE Islam really IS !!!

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    LOL. Blasphemy laws are only good when you happen to be the religion in control. Consider how many people the Church executed for blasphemy before you cry in your soup for the Christian.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories