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Jakarta Governor Race Heats Up With Ruckus Over Koran Comments

  • Ahok seeking to become first elected Christian to post
  • Contest seen as precursor to 2019 presidential elections
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok.

Photographer: Bay Ismoyo/AFP via Getty Images

A three-way race to lead Indonesia’s largest city is turning into a potential test for religious tolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, is seeking to become the first Christian elected governor of Jakarta, a post that has been a springboard to the presidency. Yet days before the campaign’s official start he was questioned by police for four hours over claims his recent comments about the Koran amounted to blasphemy.