The capital of the world’s biggest Islamic country was the scene Friday of the latest in a series of mass demonstrations by Muslims demanding that the Christian governor of Jakarta be punished for “blasphemy.” More than 22,000 police officers were deployed to maintain control of the “Defend Islam” rally, which drew an estimated 150,000 people.
The protestors already chalked up one victory earlier this week, when the Attorney General’s Office announced that it will proceed with a trial against Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. Unappeased, they continue to demand his immediate arrest. The U.S. Embassy closed its consular section Friday and recommended that American citizens avoid the protest – described as “a large-scale ‘mass prayer gathering’ in central Jakarta.” READ MORE