The Jakarta Post
Supporters of former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who was imprisoned for blasphemy, have begun warming up to vice presidential candidate Ma’ruf Amin, despite the latter having stated in the past that Ahok had insulted the Quran in relation to his remarks about verse al-Maidah.
The supporters, grouped under Relawan Nusantara (RelaNU), have declared their support for presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Ma’ruf, with RelaNU initiator Nusron Wahid saying on Monday that he had met with the Muslim cleric to show the organization’s support for him in next year’s election.
“I’ve just met with Kiai [teacher] Ma’ruf. God willing, we’ll gather friends that are still active in the RelaNU network that supported Ahok and Muslim supporters of Ahok to support Pak Jokowi and Kiai Ma’ruf,” he said at Ma’ruf’s house in Jakarta as quoted by Antara news agency.
Ma'ruf's picture was also on the posters along with other initiators of Defend Islam rallies in late 2016.
He said some Ahok supporters in RelaNU were initially shocked to find out that the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman would be running with Jokowi in the presidential election next year. However, following discussion, they started to understand the reasons behind the selection and vowed to support the pair.
In return, Ma’ruf has expressed his intention to reconcile with Ahok.
“I will arrange a special meeting with him,” he said at his house in Jakarta on Monday as quoted by Antara.
His willingness to meet with Ahok was expressed after Nusron paid a visit to his house.
During his trial last year, Ahok’s lawyer team accused Ma’ruf of bias after Ma’ruf testified against him. Ahok later apologized for implying the cleric had succumbed to political pressure in his trial. (ris/evi)