Conservative Muslim Groups to Hold Anti-Ahok Rally at Monas

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Muslim groups that took part in last year’s 212 rally (often called the 212 Alumni) that held protests against the alleged blasphemous remark made by former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahja Purnama is planning to hold a reunion at the Monumen Nasional (Monas), and have invited new Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan to the event.

“The letter of invitation has been delivered, now we are just waiting for confirmation from him,” said Slamet Maarif, the chairman of the 212 Alumni presidium, as quoted by tribunnews.com.

The reunion, which will be held on December 2, could draw more than one million people. While it is still uncertain whether Anies will attend the reunion, Slamet feels the governor has already played his part in facilitating the event by allowing it to be held at Monas, despite the long-standing ban on religious activities at the Jakarta landmark.

“It’s good, that area is a symbol of Jakarta, anyone can use it. That means Pak Anies wants to build an area that belongs to everybody,” said Slamet.

The original 212 rally had also been staged at Monas, despite the ban on religious and political events to be held in the area, after the police decided to make an exception for the large number of protesters who threatened to paralyze Central Jakarta traffic if it had taken place on the streets as planned .

The Jakarta Police has asked organizers to switch the location of the reunion, which also coincides with the commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, to Istiqlal Mosque. However, the police have also said that they have prepared 25,000 personnel to be deployed to secure Monas should the organizers insist on holding the event at Monas.

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