The case of Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok, hit the comic book news headlines last month after it was revealed that X-Men artist Ardian Syaf not only went on marches calling for his arrest, prosecution and possible beheading for blasphemy, but also snuck references to the march and the issue into the backgrounds of X-Men: Gold #1.
Christian leader Ahok was accused of criticising the Quran, others state this was a poor translation of a video that saw him question the Indonesian translation of a verse that sees it say that Muslims shouldn’t have Christians or Jews as leaders, and warning against Indonesian Islamic scholars who translate it incorrectly. The comic saw Jewish character Kitty Pryde talk leadership of the X-Men and talk about her role.
Yesterday, Ahok was jailed for two years for blasphemy after judges handed down a sentence that was harsher than expected. Prosecutors had only requested a one-year suspended sentence.
He denies blasphemy and has issued plans to appeal the judgment and sentence. Currently in custody, his deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat will now govern Jakarta until the end of their term in October.
All sides have spoken out against the result, from those who say the sentence is too harsh, demanding acquittal, and others who say it was too lenient and that he should have been sentenced to five years, or hung. Protestors for both have been gathering outside the court, with thousands of members of the police and army trying to keep the peace.