Oxford: Protest planned to highlight hypocrisy of Indonesian leader’s visit

May 17, 2017 by

Anglican Mainstream reports: A demonstration is being planned for 2pm on Thursday 18th May at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, to protest at the visit of an Indonesian politician, Jusuf Kalla, who is due to give a lecture on ‘Moderate Islam’. This comes just after the Governor of Jakarta, a Christian, has been imprisoned for blasphemy following a stirring up of religious intolerance against Christians in which Mr Kalla is implicated.

This letter has been sent to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University

Dear Vice Chancellor,

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.

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.

Grateful if you would confirm receipt of this email.

Yours faithfully, 

Mariella Djorghi

See more here:

Jakarta’s Governor in prison; world rallies against blasphemy law, by Andrew Carey, Global Christian News

Prince Charles in Indonesia Muslim row, from Christian Voice

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