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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Indonesia blasphemy protest draws 200,000; ends peacefully

JAKARTA, Indonesia — At least 200,000 conservative Muslims rallied peacefully in the Indonesian capital on Friday in the second major protest against its minority Christian governor, who is being prosecuted for alleged blasphemy. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, a political ally of the governor who angered hard-liners by being out of the city during their first protest, unexpectedly went to the national monument to join Friday prayers with the sprawling crowd. He called for protesters to leave peacefully. They cheered and then broke into chants calling for Gov. Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja’s arrest, but later, people streamed peacefully out of the area and marched to a major traffic circle before dispersing. The blasphemy controversy erupted in September when a video circulated online of Ahok criticizing detractors who argued the Quran prohibits Muslims from having a non-Muslim leader.

To access the complete article, please use this link: The Washington Post