"The presented exception was an expression of his feelings. It is impossible for him to insult Islam and clerics, as it is the religion of his adoptive family, who he respects and loves," Prof. Ikrar Nusa Bhakti said.Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The memorandum of exception or objection read out by non-active Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) in court on the first day of the blasphemy trial was an expression of his deepest feelings, experts believe.
"The presented exception was an expression of his feelings. It is impossible for him to insult Islam and clerics, as it is the religion of his adoptive family, who he respects and loves," political observer of Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Prof. Ikrar Nusa Bhakti remarked in a written statement received by ANTARA here on Tuesday.
Ikrar opined that Ahok loved Muslims and the religion of Islam, as can be seen from his efforts to build a mosque and to send the caretakers of the mosques and the "muazim" to the Holy Land of Mecca to perform umrah.
The professor also asked the judges to avoid discriminating against Ahok during the trial and expressed hope that the legal process would run smoothly without intervention from any party or public pressure.
Ikrar also asked the community to accept the results of the trial gracefully and to continue to oversee the legal process to ensure it remains transparent.
The prosecutors argue that Ahok insulted Islam in his comments on a Koranic verse, which suggests Muslims must not elect non-Muslims as their leaders.
Ahok insisted his comments were aimed at rival politicians incorrectly using a Koranic verse against him, not at the verse itself.(*)