Nahdlatul Ulama chairman Said Aqil Siroj, center, and secretary general Helmy Faisal Zaini, right, during a meeting with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo in Jakarta on Nov. 7. Indonesia's largest Muslim organization has called on the public to respect the police investigation into blasphemy allegations against Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, who was named a suspect in the case on Wednesday (16/11). (Antara Photo/Yudhi Mahatma)

Indonesia's Largest Muslim Group Asks Public to Respect Blasphemy Probe Against Ahok

BY :ALIN ALMANAR

NOVEMBER 17, 2016

Jakarta. Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, has called on the public to respect the police investigation into blasphemy allegations against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who was named a suspect in the case on Wednesday (16/11).

The police have charged Ahok under the criminal code over recent remarks he made about a Koranic verse, which resulted in thousands of Muslim hardliners taking to the streets in mass protest rallies.

Nahdlatul Ulama leaders have welcomed Wednesday's decision, which would likely see the case against the governor, who is a Christian of Chinese ethnicity, going to trial.

"We have to constructively safeguard this legal process to ensure that it will run transparently and in accordance with laws and regulations," Nahdlatul Ulama chairman Said Aqil Siroj told the media on Thursday.

His statement came a day after the country's second-largest Muslim group, Muhammadiyah, welcomed the police's decision in the case by saying that it "met the public sense of justice."

Ahok's case comes in the lead-up to next year's Jakarta gubernatorial race, in which he is seeking re-election. His suspect status does not affect his candidacy.

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