May 9, 2017

TOLERANCE: Jakarta’s Christian governor Ahok found guilty in Islam blasphemy trial.

The sentence was harsher than expected and will come as a shock to many of his supporters. TV news coverage of the scene outside the court showed some supporters weeping.

Prosecutors had called for a suspended one-year jail sentence on charges of hate speech. The maximum sentence is four years in prison for hate speech and five years for blasphemy.

Judges said he did it deliberately and did not show remorse. Ahok told the court he will appeal the ruling.

Thousands of police have been deployed across the capital in case clashes break out between Ahok’s supporters and hard-line Islamists who demanded he be sacked and jailed over the allegations.

His crime? “Ahok said during the campaign that people were being deceived if they believed a specific verse in the Quran forbids Muslims from voting for non-Muslims.”

That’s instructive.

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