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Jakarta Post

MUI must retract biased statement against Ahok: NU activist

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, November 7, 2016   /  11:39 pm
MUI must retract biased statement against Ahok: NU activist Staying confident -- Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama (left), who is on leave to campaign, is ready to give a statement to the press after being interrogated by the National Police's Criminal Investigation Division (Bareskrim) in Jakarta on Nov. 7. (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

Zuhairi Misrawi, a young intellectual from Indonesia's largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has called on the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to retract the blasphemy accusation it made against Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, since it was based on a misquote of a speech the governor made that was uploaded to the internet.

Zuhairi said the MUI’s statement the police had used as the basis of their legal investigation into Ahok had triggered widespread hate speech against the governor.

“The MUI is the source of all of these problems. Its biased and hasty statement, which accused Ahok of committing blasphemy, has been widely used by groups that oppose his gubernatorial candidacy," he said in Jakarta on Monday.

On Oct.11, the MUI concluded that Ahok had committed blasphemy for citing Surah al-Maidah during a conversation with locals in the Thousand Islands regency during a visit on Sept.27.

The council stated Ahok had insulted both the Quran and ulemas when he urged Thousand Islands residents not to be deceived by people who wanted to use the verse, which some interpret as telling Muslims not to take Jews or Christians as their leaders, to deter them from choosing a non-Muslim leader in the upcoming Jakarta election.

Zuhairi emphasized that it was urgent for the MUI to retract its statement, especially after Buni Yani, the uploader of a video that shows part of Ahok's speech when he mentioned the Quranic verse, had admitted making errors when transcribing the governor’s words before posting the footage.

Buni, a communications lecturer, is currently being investigated by the Jakarta Police. The National Police are planning to take over the case to speed up the process. (ebf)

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