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Indonesia: Muslims stage massive rally against Christian governor

November 04, 2016

Police in Jakarta used tear gas to break up a boisterous rally of over 100,000 Muslims protesting against the governor of the Indonesian capital.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who became governor of Jakarta in 2014, is the first Christian to hold the post, and is now a candidate for re-election. Some Islamists have objected to his role, saying that Muslims should not be under the authority of a “non-believer.” The massive rally on November 4 seemed to illustrate the growing strength of militant Islam in Indonesia—which is the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, but also a country with a history of inter-religious cooperation.

The demonstration against Purnama was also fueled by his ethnic Chinese background; Chinese have frequently been the objects of resentment in Indonesia.

 
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