The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has offered his apology to Muslims who were offended by his statement related to a verse of the Quran.
"I want to apologize to Muslims or other people who feel offended. I never intended to insult Islam or the Quran," Ahok said at City Hall on Monday.
Several organizations reported Ahok to the police, accusing him of religious defamation.
Ahok said he was not anti Islam and cited some of his policies that he said had benefited Muslims, such granting permits for Islamic schools, providing Jakarta Smart Cards (KJP) to the students and building a mosque in the City Hall complex.
He added that during his speech made in the Thousand Islands on Sept. 27, in which he mentioned Surah al-Maidah, verse 51 of the Quran, the residents were not insulted.
“They even laughed while listening,” he said.
The former East Belitung regent said he regretted that his statement had created public uproar and hoped that the issue would soon come to an end.
In part of his speech, Ahok said, “In your inner hearts, Bapak/Ibu may not vote for me, because [you have been] lied to by [using] Surah al-Maidah, verse 51, etc. […] So, if you cannot vote for me because you are afraid of being condemned to hell you do not need to feel uneasy as you are being fooled. It is alright.” (bbn)