Jakarta rally calls for tolerance after blasphemy probe


More than 10,000 Indonesians took to the streets of their capital to call for tolerance and unity in the world's most populous Muslim nation, after police opened a blasphemy investigation into the city's Christian governor.

Earlier this month, Jakarta was rocked by a massive protest by conservative Muslims against the popular Gov. Asuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, with one person killed and dozens injured in rioting. Hard-liners have threatened more protests if Ahok isn't arrested.

Police last week named Ahok as a suspect in the blasphemy investigation.The rally Saturday attracted more than 10,000 people, including religious leaders, legislators and members of human rights groups, who marched at the National Monument and along nearby main streets.

"We are assembling here not to dissent but rather to demonstrate that we are not effortlessly separated by religious or political issues," said Budiman Sujatmiko, a lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the nation's biggest political gathering. 

The group, many waving the red-and-white national banner, cheered and droned "Joined Indonesia can't not be vanquished." 

The Islamic Defenders Front, a vigilante gathering that needs to force Shariah law in common Indonesia, started requesting Ahok's capture after a video coursed online in which he kidded to a group of people about an entry in the Quran that could be deciphered as precluding Muslims from tolerating non-Muslims as pioneers. The senator has apologized for the remark. 

Lewdness is a criminal offense in Indonesia. Absolution International recorded 106 feelings somewhere around 2004 and 2014, with a few people detained for up to five years. 

Ahok is the second Christian legislative leader of Jakarta since Indonesia announced autonomy in 1945, and the principal ethnic Chinese to run the sprawling, disorganized city. He is well known with the city's white collar class, yet has made adversaries from an extreme position against defilement and a urban program that has removed a huge number of the city's poorest from ghettos.