The authorities in Bantul Regency (Yogyakarta special province), central Java, removed from office Yulius Suharto, head of Pajangan sub-district, following a massive lobbying campaign launched on social media by Islamic extremist groups and radical Muslims who targeted him because he is Catholic.
The decision to dismiss the sub-district chief was made on Monday as a result of the unrelenting campaign against the official (pictured).
In a statement, the authorities state that the decision is backed by scores of officials and citizens in Pajangan, ostensibly opposed to a Catholic holding the top office in the civilian administration of a predominantly Muslim area.
Bantu Regent Suharsono noted that Yulius Suharto’s removal was done in accordance with the law, in response to demands from regency and municipal leaders. Most officials welcomed the decision to remove the official because he was not Muslim.
Yulius Suharto is expected to be transferred to Bambanglipuro, a sub-district where most people are not Muslim, local sources said.
Last October, Pajangan saw fierce protests by Islamic extremists against the installation of a large bust of Jesus in front of the St Yakobus Alfeus Church.
Extremists were particularly incensed by the presence at the ceremony of women wearing hijab. When the images of veiled women at a Christian ceremony went viral, many of Indonesia’s extremists and Jihadi movements were enraged.
Read more at Asia News.