Article ‘Ahok’s defeats and public debate in Indonesia’, by Ward Berenschot

Article in New Mandala on Ahok’s defeats and public debate in Indonesia, by Ward Berenschot.

“Basuki Thahaja Purnama’s (‘Ahok’) electoral defeat in Jakarta’s gubernatorial election on 19 April was stunning in itself. And then Jakarta’s sitting governor was dealt a further blow on 9 May when he was convicted to a two year jail sentence for blasphemy. Both events are a setback for those campaigning for a tolerant and pluralist Indonesia. As the election campaign focused on Ahok’s Chinese-Christian background and the purported threat he posed to Islam, the election results and the subsequent court ruling suggest that the appeal and the power of hardliner Islamic organisations is growing.”

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