The conflicts related to the racially and religiously charged gubernatorial election in Jakarta have hit a new low when a supporter of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) claimed in a Facebook comment that it is Halal to gang rape female Ahok supporters.
“Those who support Ahok are idiots and immoral.. it is halal to spill their blood and it is also halal if women are gang raped,” he stated in his comment.
Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the Christian and ethnically Chinese governor of Jakarta who is currently contesting to be re-elected, had earned a lot of praise for his exceptional commitment for clean government and against corruption.
According to FPI, however, it is not permissible in Islam that a non-Muslim governs a city mostly inhabited by Muslims.
After black campaigns, violent protests and threats coming from Ahok’s opponents, the level of extremism has now crossed the line for many Indonesians.
Ita Fadia Nadya, a member of Indonesian Women Against Violence, said that her group filed a police report against the Facebook user for hate speech, as defined by Article 156 of the Criminal Code Procedure Law (KUHP), Jakarta Globe reported.
“We want to raise concerns about the safety of women in general. We aren’t talking about the upcoming gubernatorial election in Jakarta; our focus is purely on safety,” she told reporters at the Jakarta Police headquarters.
According to her, the threat is especially harmful for women and compromises their safety.
The FPI supporter with the Facebook username Dwi Ardika’s distasteful comment also reminded many Indonesians about the gang rapes that occurred during the anti-Chinese riots in 1998.
“Before the massive gang rapes that occurred in 1998, there were sentiments and threats expressed [similar to this Facebook post].
“In that period, there was no social media. Instead, threats were disseminated through posters targeting drivers of taxis and other forms of public transportation. We don’t want to see the actions of that year being repeated,” she said.
The Jakarta riots in May 1998 saw 1,000 people killed and 87 women, mostly of Chinese descent, raped by rioters and rape squads, allegedly led by the army.