JAKARTA – Reports from the streets in West Java indicates that at least ten thousand marchers have set off on a long march to Jakarta, in defiance of a police ban on public transportation within the main streets of the Indonesian capital city.
The source said the crowd is composed of Muslims who are on their way to join a massive rally that is set to take place – despite a police ban – in Jakarta on Dec 2.
The walkers are demanding that the authorities impose the law against Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahya Purnama (also known as Ahok), who is charged with blasphemy against the Holy Quran, the Muslims holy book.
“We are walking because the authority has imposed a ban on the buses who are not able to carry us to Jakarta,” said the source to WorldfutureTv.com.
The rally is being organised amid simmering tensions between the majority Muslim community in Jakarta and the minority ethnic Chinese population.
“We intend to join hands with others from all Indonesia areas who are coming to participate in this biggest of rallies,” said the source.
They also said they are demanding that current President Joko Widodo – who they claim is a cheat – takes responsibility for what they called social and economic unfairness, and the treatment of workers in the country.
“Many have lost their jobs to invading Chinese mainland (People’s Republic of China) citizens who they claim have been allowed in Indonesia to work illegally here,” said the source to WorldfutureTv.com.
On November 19, the Jakarta Police Chief Insp Gen Mochamad Iriawan has asked residents not to join another massive rally planned on Dec. 2 and related to a blasphemy case implicating Ahok.
Iriawan said residents should not join the rally on Nov. 25 or on Dec. 2 since police have already named Ahok a suspect in the case,
A Jakarta citizen told WorldfutureTV.com the case against Ahok was decided in a bid to calm the nerves of the extremists who have successfully galvanised Muslims in Jakarta to assemble against the ethnic Chinese governor.
But it appears the attempt has backfired and the President will have to come other ways to satisfy the demands made by the Front Pembela Islam (FPI), which demanded that Ahok quits as governor.
The governor is however, adamant that he did not blaspheme the Quran, and has apologised for mentioning the Islamic holy book in one of his speeches.
Ahok is said to have criticised the Quran, saying the Chapter called Al-Maida had sections that lied to the Muslims.
However, a video recording of the speech in which Ahok mentions the Surah Al-Maida did not appear to be misleading to the people present during the speech.
“If that was misleading, Ahok would have never been able to leave the speech alive,” said another source.
The source said she was not sympathetic to Ahok but the fact is the FPI translated the speech but altered the words Ahok pronounced to make them look like he blasphemed the Quran.
The court will decide soon the status of the dispute, but it appears the political career of Ahok is coming to an end.