Indonesia’s hijab-wearing Muslim metal group challenges stereotypes

By Yuddy Cahya GARUT, Indonesia, May 29 : With their heads covered with Islamic headscarves, the three members of the Indonesian band VoB (“Voice of Baceprot” or “Noisy Voice”) do not look like your typical heavy metal group. Formed in 2014, the band of teenagers met at school in Indonesia’s most populous province of West […]

UN experts urge Indonesia to overturn Jakarta governor’s blasphemy conviction

By Tom Miles GENEVA, May 22 : UN experts urged Indonesia today to free Jakarta’s Christian governor, who was jailed this month for blasphemy – a conviction that risks encouraging Islamists to challenge secularism in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese popularly known as “Ahok”, was jailed on May 9 […]

Smoke alarm: Indonesians take tiny steps against Big Tobacco

By Stefanno Reinard and Eveline Danubrata JAKARTA, May 12 : A neighbourhood in the Indonesian capital has informally declared itself a smoke-free zone as students plan further protests against what they see as an increased effort by cigarette companies to target the young. Indonesia has one of the highest rates of smoking and is the […]

A Bible and a cell: a new life for Jakarta’s high-flying Christian governor

By Ed Davies JAKARTA, May 11 : Jakarta’s once hugely popular governor is being held in a simple room at a high-security detention centre, his only comforts a Bible and visitors twice a week. It’s a grim new life following his conviction for insulting Islam in Muslim-majority Indonesia. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was hurriedly transferred to […]

Jailing of Jakarta’s Christian governor reverberates across Indonesia

By Agustinus Beo Da Costa JAKARTA, May 10 : Hundreds of supporters of Jakarta’s Christian governor sang patriotic songs outside the Indonesian capital’s City Hall today to protest his imprisonment for blasphemy after a trial that drew concerns over rising religious intolerance. Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is appealing his harsher-than-expected two-year jail sentence after being […]