The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ma'ruf Amin said the council's recommendation that a statement Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama made when in the Thousand Islands be considered “blasphemous” against Islam was the strongest kind of document the MUI issued.
Ma'ruf, however, admitted he had not watched the footage of Ahok's speech before he signed the document.
Ma'ruf appeared as a prosecution witness presented during the eighth hearing of the trial of Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent who was charged with blasphemy after he made a comment in September last year during a working visit to the Thousand Islands, saying a Quranic verse was being misused by some people.
Ma'ruf told the hearing held at an Agriculture Ministry auditorium in South Jakarta that the MUI had issued a "Religious Opinion and Stance" on Oct. 11 after an edited clip of Ahok’s statement went viral and triggered a massive reaction. He said such a stance was the most "authoritative" document of the MUI.
Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama nods to the prosecutors during his trial hearing at the Agriculture Ministry's auditorium in South Jakarta on Tuesday. Five witnesses are scheduled to be heard in the hearing.(JP/POOL/Seto Wardhana )
Ma'ruf added that the document was handled by four MUI commissions oversee edicts, information and communications, law and study and research.
(Read Also: Ahok welcomed on island where blasphemy case began)
"The four commissions studied the video. Thus I did not have to watch it anymore because I believe in their study," Ma'ruf said.
Four other people are scheduled to appear as witnesses in the hearing. They are Jaenuddin and Sahbudin, fishermen from Panggang Island, as well as General Elections Commission (KPU) Jakarta member Dahlia Umar and Jakarta resident lbnu Baskoro. (bbs)
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