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Protest against increasing Islamism of Indonesia sparked by lecture on Moderate Islam at Oxford


Image of Ahok imprisoned for a false blasphemy in Indonesia.

A peaceful demonstration is to be held coinciding with the visit of Vice President Jusuf Kalla as a visiting lecturer on the topic 'Moderate Islam: The Indonesian Experience',  to Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.  OCIS is a 'Recognised Independent Centre' of the University of Oxford.

Time:          2pm
Date:          Thursday 18th May 2015
Location:    Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Marston Rd, Oxford, OX3 0EE

Please bring a 'Red and White' flag, a poster expressing your grievance/protest in regards to the recent events in our home country. Dress-code: red and white.

The purpose of the protest is too highlight the ongoing persecution of minorities in Indonesia who are suffering under a growing weight of islamic extremism.

Earlier this month the Christian governor, Basuki Cahaya Purnama, or famously known as AHOK, campaigned for re-election. His opponents unleashed radical Muslims (and moderate ones too) onto the streets of Jakarta carrying banners quoting Al Maida 51, a Quran verse, which is believed to instruct Muslims not to take non-Muslims as friends/guardians/representatives/leaders, depending on which interpretation but  in this instance meant to advise Muslims not to vote for Non-Muslims. 


Ahok went on a campaign trail and urged his followers to vote for him & not listen to the radicals who, according to him 'misinterpret and misuse the Quran for their own ends.'

This statement on video incensed the radicals who felt wrongly accused of misinterpreting & misusing their own Quran, especially by a non-Muslim. So he was dragged to the courts for blasphemy. He then lost his re-election and then only 2 days later was taken to court for blasphemy, in a much publicised case that resulted in Ahok being convicted for 2 yrs imprisonment, harsher than expected, for blasphemy (click here). 
The sentence created shockwaves in Indonesia and around the world. People were demonstrating with candles all over Indonesia.

Only recently the same Islamists who led the push for blasphemy sentencing of Ahok have openly declared that they will be targeting ethnic Chinese in Indonesia because of their wealth (click here).

Mariella DJorghi, a Indonesian resident from London, asked British Pakistani Christian Association to help raise the profile of the increasing persecution of non-Muslims in Indonesia. She said:

"There is huge global support for the release of Ahok. He has been proven to be a very competent, honest & hardworking governor, working hard even to help Muslims go on the umrah & build them mosques. But that clearly was not enough.

"Jusuf Kalla, the Vice President and his cohorts are believed to be behind Ahok's removal & his protegee, Anies Baswedan, a well-known Islamist is now the governor of Jakarta. He is largely supported by groups like Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia. This booklet is what HTI recently distributed, entitled: 'Welcoming a Muslim Governor, Kick out the Kafir Governor, Forming a Sharia Jakarta.'

Wilson Chowdhry, said:

"I join Mariella and other humanitarians in expressing deep concern for the bias support that the Vice President gave to an Islamist candidate for the Jakarta governorship for which he was widely criticized.

"Under his watch, Indonesian Muslims are told to choose a Muslim over a non-Muslim governor candidate, using the Qur'an, chapter and verse. The result being that not only did the incumbent Chinese Christian governor lose his re-election, but he was also dragged to court, facing spurious allegations of having insulted the Quran verse quoted by the Muslims.

"His loss and especially his two years jail for blasphemy shocked the nation and showed a deeply disturbing trend in Indonesia towards religious discrimination."

Stephen Green, leader of Christian Voice who is partnering on the protest, said:

"How the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies can possibly view Vice President Jusuf Kalla qualified to speak on 'Moderate Islam' after his track record and the imprisonment of Basuki Cahaya Purnama defies belief.

"The Patron of the Centre is the Prince of Wales, who has said: 'The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies has done so much to promote and improve our understanding of the Islamic world'. With its invitation of Kalla, we understand the Islamic world of the Oxford Centre only too well."

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA organised permission for a protest outside Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and is asking concerned people to sign a petition calling for change in Indonesia (click here)

On the advice of the BPCA Mariella has sent an email to the Principal of Oxford University

Dear Principal,

"Many of us in the Indonesian community in the UK, including those studying at Oxford University, were aghast and disappointed to learn of the invitation to the Indonesian Vice President, Mr Jusuf Kalla, to give a lecture entitled 'Moderate Islam: Indonesia's Experience' at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, this coming Thursday.  Our chagrin is mirrored by many other supportive British people.

Mr Kalla is widely known as a proponent of an intolerant form of Islam. For instance, back in 1968 as leader of the HMI (the Islamic Student Association) of Makassar, upon an allegation of blasphemy by a Catholic, Mr Kalla was recorded as having ''instructed all members of HMI and other Muslim organizations to come to nearby mosques at 8 pm. After the evening prayer ('ishā'), the Muslims started attacking the Christian buildings, and the loud-speakers of the mosques shouting out "Allahu Akbar, defend your religion, be a martyr!" The Christian buildings attacked in the incidents were 9 Protestant churches, 4 Catholic churches, 1 nuns' dormitory, 1 Academy of Theology, 1 office of the Catholic student organization, and 2 Catholic schools.'


This invitation is all the more insensitive, coming as it does at a time when the hugely popular Christian governor of Jakarta, affectionately known as Ahok, has lost his re-election purely because Muslim organisations represented/supported by those close to Mr Kalla have been deliberately inciting religious hatred, urging people to take to the streets reminding them that according to the Qur'an, Muslims are not allowed to appoint a non-Muslim to be in a position of leadership. They have been quoting the verse, Al Maida 51, which says:

'O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.' [Sahih International translation]

'O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.' [Pickthall translation]
Whilst still governor and campaigning for re-election, Mr Ahok was dragged to court for quoting the above-mentioned Qur'an verse, claiming that the so-called radicals have misquoted this verse to trick people not to vote for him. This incensed the radicals who accused him of blasphemy. The court accordingly sentenced him to two years imprisonment, which was harsh even by Indonesian standards. This again caused international condemnation. Meanwhile, despite an obligation to remain neutral, Mr Kalla has been actively backing the alternative candidate, an Islamist, for which he has been widely criticized.

Indonesia is on the verge of falling victim to religious intolerance, and to have Mr Kalla given a platform at this time is DEEPLY INSULTING to many Indonesians and risk conferring on him credibility which he does NOT deserve.

We hope that when he speaks on this occasion the audience will view what he says with suitable scepticism and raise with him the points outlined above.

We would be grateful if you would confirm receipt of this email. 

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