Religious intolerance may increase ahead of Ahok trial, Christmas: Researcher

Religious intolerance may increase ahead of Ahok trial, Christmas: Researcher

Cases of religious intolerance could increase in Indonesia amid Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s blasphemy trial and ahead of Christmas celebrations.

Setara Institute research director Ismail Hasani said intolerant groups had grown more confident after a large-scale rally against Ahok in the National Monument (Monas) area, Central Jakarta, on Dec. 2. “And it’s now heading toward Christmas,” Ismail told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

A few days after the rally, he said a conservative group dispersed a Christmas event held at Sasana Budaya Ganesha in Bandung.

West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan and Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil apologized for the incident on Tuesday.

The following morning, in Yogyakarta, members of the Muslim People’s Forum (FUI) visited Duta Wacana Christian University and asked the university to take down billboards depicting a female student wearing a hijab.

(Read also: Catholic university refuses to remove billboards with hijab-clad student)

On Thursday, the university decided to remove the billboards. The move prompted fears that the group would ask other universities to remove similar billboards.

However, Sanata Dharma Catholic University said it would refuse to remove its billboards, which also depict a female student in a hijab, if the group visited the university. (jun)

Source : The Jakarta Post

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