Hardline Muslims bay for Ahok's blood after Jokowi withdraws support to Jakarta governor

President Joko Widodo has said he will not protect governor Ahok if he's found guilty in the blasphemy case

Anti-Ahok rally
Muslim students broke the barb wire during the anti- Ahok protest Reuters

Tension seems to have mounted for Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama as Muslim hardliners are organising another rally on 2 December to protest against his alleged blasphemy.

This is the second protest march against the Chinese Christian governor since the 4 November demonstration when Jakarta city saw thousands of jihadist supporters storm the streets demanding Ahok's immediate resignation and arrest.

The Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions is all set to join the rally next month saying that they will be protesting against Jakarta administration's minimum wage policy recently imposed in the city.

"Just imagine, the minimum wage for Jakarta is set at Rp 3.3 million (US$246.82) next year, equal to this year's minimum wage in a 'small city', namely Karawang (in West Java)," said KSPI chairman Said Iqbal, as reported by the Jakarta Post.

The chairman also said that their workers will also protest against the alleged profanities committed by Ahok and the forced evictions conducted under his leadership.

Ahok has been named suspect in the high-profile blasphemy case that has maligned Jakarta's administration body and its members. Fingers have also been pointed at President Joko Widodo for his silence over this case. Though it was reported that the president told religious leaders that he would not intervene in Ahok's case, on 8 November, he said that he will not protect Ahok.

"I emphasize here, I will not protect Basuki Tjahaja Purnama because [his case] is being legally processed," said Jokowi, according to the news website.

Governor Ahok received flak for allegedly misquoting a verse from the Quran during one of his speeches in September. During the speech, Ahok criticised his opponents for citing a verse in the Quran which warns Muslims against forming an alliance with Christians and Jews saying that they were "lying". This led to an outrage and the governor was accused of criticising the Islamic holy text.

On 4 November, tens of thousands of Muslim hardliners took to the streets following this event to protest against the governor. The protest soon accelerated into a bloody demonstration where gangs of jihadists torched police cars and attacked officers.

Police had to fire tear gas, water cannon and truncheons into thousands of rioting protesters to bring the situation under control. It was also reported that the angry mobs tried to enter the governor's housing complex in northern Jakarta but the police foiled the move.

However, KSPI chairman said that 2 December rally will a peaceful one. "Around 500,000 workers in Greater Jakarta areas will join the peaceful rally," he said.