Islamist leader arrested in Indonesia

Islamist leader arrested in IndonesiaIndonesian police arrested five people, including Muhammad Al Khaththath, a leader of the Islamic People's Forum, for suspected treason on Friday before an IPF-organised protest of thousands of Muslims demanding the sacking of Jakarta's Christian governor, a police spokesman said.

This is reported by Reuters.

Religious and political tensions have been running high ahead of the second and final round of the Jakarta election on April 19. Incumbent Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who is on trial for blasphemy, is competing against a Muslim candidate.

We are charging them with conspiring to commit treason," Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono told Indonesia media.

"There were several findings, including a plan to occupy the Indonesian parliament," he said.

Muslim protests have targeted Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian, on trial for allegedly insulting the Koran in connection with remarks he made about how people should vote. He denies the charge.

Purnama is backed by President Joko Widodo's ruling party and the sudden rise of fringe, hardline Muslim groups during the election campaign has raised questions about whether they are being used as political pawns and destabilizing Indonesia, a secular nation with the world's largest Muslim population.
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