Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama visits Cilincing in North Jakarta during his gubernatorial campaign on Jan. 2. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

'Don't Be Afraid,' Cleric Gus Nuril Tells Ahok Ahead of Jakarta Poll


JANUARY 09, 2017

Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama met with high-profile cleric Nuril Arifin Husein, popularly known as Gus Nuril, to gather support for next month's Jakarta gubernatorial election on Monday (09/01). During their brief meeting, Gus Nuril told the governor not to be afraid of people attacking him, either in court or in the media, ahead of the Jakarta poll.

Ahok visited the Gus Nuril-run Abdurrahman Wahid Sokotunggal II Islamic Boarding School in Pulogadung, East Jakarta, on Monday morning.


"Ahok shouldn't be afraid. I can't vote for Ahok in the election, but I will fight for Ahok to have his right to be elected," Gus Nuril said after the meeting.

Gus Nuril is not registered as a Jakarta resident so he will not participate in the poll in February.

Gus Nuril said the coalition of groups attacking Ahok also has an impeachment of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in their sight.

Ahok is currently embroiled in a blasphemy trial after Muslim groups accused him of insulting the Koran during a speech on Pramuka Island in September last year.

Ahok has been arguing that all he said in the speech was that politicians should not quote verses from the Koran to influence people not to vote for him in the Jakarta governor election.

"You'll get through this. I think if you [Ahok] are not too outspoken, many of these radical groups will be left idle," Gus Nuril joked.

In response, Ahok said he will keep fighting for the sake of the republic and its state ideology Pancasila.

"[Running mate] Djarot and I are not finished yet. Pray that we will get another chance to finish all the tasks we've set ourselves for Jakarta," Ahok said.