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Indonesian Muslims protest the burning of Islamic flag linked to banned organisation

Around a thousand Indonesian Muslims gathered for a protest in the capital Jakarta to protest against burning of an Islamic flag, linked to a banned organisation on Friday.

Protestors gathered to condemn the burning, which was captured in a viral video in which a member of the youth wing of Nahdlatual Ulama (NU) burnt a rival organisation’s flag which bore the Tauhid - an Islamic concept asserting that there is only one God. During the protest this was the message they chanted, “there is no God but Allah”.

Reuters notes that the video took place in West Java after youth members saw a man carrying a Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) flag. HTI is a banned organisation that seeks the establishment of an Islamic caliphate. 

Acts of blasphemy are treated as criminal in Indonesia. Last year islamic protests lead to the electoral defeat and jailing of Jakarta’s ethnic-Chinese and Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok. Ahok had been an ally to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, however, now seeking a second election Widodo aims to pander to moderate Islamic leaders and has appointed Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate.

Indonesia will hold its presidential and parliamentary elections next April.

Read more from Reuters here.