Jakarta's Christian governor has been sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy, a harsher-than-expected ruling critics fear will embolden hardline Islamist forces to challenge secularism in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation.
What has the world come to? Why are so many Muslims nowadays totally forgetting the peaceful, tolerant nature of Islam?
Hardline Islamist groups had called for the maximum penalty possible over comments by Purnama that they said were insulting to the Islamic holy book, the Koran.
What were his horrible comments for which he got two years in jail?
While on a work trip last year, Purnama said political rivals were deceiving people by using a verse in the Koran to say Muslims should not be led by a non-Muslim.
Yup. That's it.
Now, let's look at the following two excerpts:
Song Seng Wun, regional economist at CIMB Private Banking, said that the verdict was "not a huge shock" to investors because most blasphemy cases in Indonesia end in convictions.
Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch described the verdict as "a huge setback" for Indonesia's record of tolerance and for minorities.
How can Indonesia's record of tolerance be tarnished when it has been convicting people of blasphemy for years? Nice try, HRW. It's difficult to bury the truth.