JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police named Indonesia’s most prominent and much hated Christian politician as a suspect in a blasphemy case on Wednesday.
It is a test-case for the Indonesian nation, as hundreds of thousand Indonesians marched in the streets of Jakarta and in other cities to protest against the Christian politician.
Some see the court case as a partial victory for the Front Pembela Islam (FPI), but it will depend on the final judgement of the case. There is no guarantee the court will effectively condemn Ahok, as the Christian politician is mostly known. It may decide that the politician did not blaspheme the Quran.
Going by his real name Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, he is governor of the capital city of Indonesia, where10 million people lives.
A massive protest-cum-coup-detat is planned by Jakarta citizens, was told.
The protest will take place on November 25, and is expected to attract a large crowd. The aim of the rally is to remove Ahok as governor and to ultimately bring the downfall of current President Jokowi Widodo.
Sources from Jakarta told the court case was decided to calm the nerves in Jakarta, and limit the chances of another massive anti-Ahok protest in the city.
The same source said Ahok had obtained 1 million signatures to formally run as governor of Jakarta in the upcoming elections.
Basuki was elevated to the post of governor after Jokowi stepped in as President.
Some public opinion surveys, including the latest released by the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI), have shown that Ahok’s electability rating has taken a toll following sectarian campaigns against him. The surveys show his ratings fell from a massive 59.3 percent to 31.1 percent following the row over a Quranic verse.
Ahok mentioned the Quranic verse in a speech in which he is heard saying the people should not be cheated by those using the verse 51 of Surah Al-Maida.
Indonesian hardliners translated the speech omiting part of it, giving the impression the governor had blasphemed the Quran by saying the Surah 51 is a lie.
The court will have to decide whether the specific part of the speech by Ahok was an intentional blaspheme or it was misconstrued as a blaspheme by antagonists.
Hardliners insist Ahok defamed the Quran. Some say his simple mention of the Quran was a blaspheme, but others are defiant this does not constitute a defamation.
The court case could result into a resurgent Ahok – if he wins the case – or a resurgent FPI and extremism in Indonesia. Both ways, the country is set to lose, say observers.

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