JAKARTA, Indonesia – The capital of Muslim-majority Indonesia is on edge ahead of what is expected to be a second massive protest by conservative Muslims against its Christian governor and no group more so than its Chinese minority.
They have reason to be concerned. The movement against the governor, who is being prosecuted for allegedly insulting the Quran, has overflowed with racial slurs against his Chinese ancestry and has awakened memories of deadly anti-Chinese riots in 1998.
Hard-line organizers of Friday's protest are unsatisfied by a police decision earlier this month to formally name Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama as a suspect in the blasphemy case instead of arresting him.
After police pressure, they have agreed to concentrate the rally around a national monument in central Jakarta and insist it will be peaceful.