The jarring ruling undermines the reputation of the world’s largest Muslim nation for practicing a moderate form of Islam.
“The accusation of blasphemy engulfed Ahok in September after a video surfaced of him telling voters they were being deceived if they believed a specific verse in the Quran prohibited Muslims from voting for a non-Muslim leader.
Massive street protests in the past six months against Ahok and Tuesday’s verdict are among the signs of an increasing religious conservatism in Indonesia. In Western capitals, the country has traditionally been seen as a bulwark of tolerance and pluralism in the Islamic world. Vigilante groups frequently attempt with impunity to prevent Indonesia’s religious minorities from practicing their faiths, and the country’s gay community has faced a surge in persecution in the past two years.”