Uploader of edited video portraying Ahok as anti-Islam reported to the police

Many Muslims were outraged when a 30-second video showing Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama supposedly saying the Islamic holy book of Quran tricks Muslims into not voting for him in the 2017 gubernatorial election was spread online, with numerous groups, including the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), reporting the governor to the police for blasphemy.

But, as it turned out, the video clip was actually part of a much longer video in which Ahok was speaking in front of citizens of the Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu). In the uncut original video, the context of Ahok’s words completely changed, as he said that some people irresponsibly use the Quran to trick others into not voting for him.

A group of Ahok supporters, called Ahok-Djarot’s Young Advocates Community (Kotak Adja) has identified the original poster of the video as ‘Si Buni Yani’ on Facebook. Kotak Adja has reported Si Buni Yani to the Jakarta Metro Police on the grounds of inciting religious hatred.

“That account (Si Buni Yani) was the first uploader of the video clip of Ahok, which was then perceived as an attack on Al Quran and Islam,” Kotak Adja head Muannas Alaidid wrote in a statement, as picked up by Antara on Friday.

“We strongly suspect that the intention was to spread propaganda and to create hatred between people of different religious groups so they clash.”

Buni Yani, the owner of the Facebook account, is reportedly a lecturer at the London School of Public Relations (LSPR). Upon his being accused of inciting religious hatred, Buni Yani said that 20 lawyers are ready to back him should he get in trouble with the law.

Based on his social media activity, Buni Yani is believed to be a supporter of Anies Baswedan, one of Ahok’s rivals in the upcoming election. However, Anies Baswedan’s campaign team welcomed Kotak Adja’s decision to report Buni Yani to the police because they want a clean and fair election.

“From the beginning, we are committed to build a democracy for adults. Don’t think that our team is happy with the issue. We’re actually happy that Ahok’s team is reporting the account who spread the issue to the police,” said Syarief, the secretary of Anies Baswedan’s campaign team, as quoted by Merdeka on Saturday.

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