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Jakarta Post

Church, homes burned in Masohi blasphemy riot

  • M. Azis Tunny

    The Jakarta Post

Ambon   /   Wed, December 10 2008   /  10:57 am

What started as a peaceful rally at the Central Maluku Education Agency in Masohi, Maluku, escalated into a major riot between two neighborhoods on Tuesday. The demonstration that took place at 8:30 a.m. local time (6:30 a.m. Jakarta time) was sparked by a complaint lodged with police, by the local chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), over the alleged blasphemy of a local teacher. Welhelmina Holle, a teacher at SD Masohi elementary school, allegedly insulted Islam while tutoring a sixth grader. After protesting at the education agency office for an hour, the crowd of about 500 marched to the Central Maluku Police headquarters, located around 500 meters away. The protesters, who had demanded the teacher be dismissed and face the law, were disappointed when they could not meet with Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Eko Widodo, who was in the provincial cap...