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It takes a nation to protect the nation

Amid human rights concerns, Indonesian province of Aceh extends Islamic law to some 90,000 non-Muslims.
 Last updated: 03 Dec 2014 10:16
Banda Aceh, Indonesia - Muslims and non-Muslims alike are now subject to strict Islamic law in the conservative province of Aceh.

It is the only one of Indonesia's 34 provinces to impose Islamic law in the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world, with a population of about 250 million people.

Aceh province implemented Islamic law in 2001, but in September the religious "penal code" was extended to everyone, now applying to some 90,000 non-Muslims who live there.

Offences not previously regulated such as adultery, homosexual acts, and sex outside marriage are now punishable with sentences handed down by Islamic courts, including public flogging. Buying or carrying alcoholic beverages could result in 10 strokes of the cane, 10 months in prison, or a maximum fine of 100 grams in gold.

Amnesty International has expressed concern over the law and has called for an end to caning in Aceh, saying it goes against international laws on torture and human rights, as well as Indonesia's own constitution. 

However, a Tuesday report by the Catholic News Service said an expansion of Islamic law to include non-Muslims has had little impact on Christians.

"Until now, no Catholic has been punished for violating sharia law, and I hope that doesn't change in the future," Father Hermanus Sahar, pastor of Banda Aceh's Sacred Heart Catholic Church, was quoted as saying.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

University students pray after a swimming class on Ule beach in Banda Aceh. These classes are among the few interactions between men and women.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

A mosque in central Banda Aceh. Muslims are required to attend Friday prayers and it is enforced by the religious police.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

The remains of a hotel that used to stand in the middle of the park in front of the central mosque. Islamic authorities had it demolished after the place was labelled as a brothel.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

In February 2011, a few punk boys were arrested at a concert and 're-educated' through military drills.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

A group of friends take photos on Ule beach. Ule was severely damaged by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

A hijab shop in central Banda Aceh. The extension of Islamic law to every person in Banda Aceh is hard to implement as most authorities - including members of the religious police - think it is bad for business.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

Employees of the Suzuya clothing shop at the central mall in Banda Aceh. As the newly extended Islamic law technically forbids women from wearing trousers, the dress code imposed by Suzuya creates a problem for its female employees.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

Girls exercising in the central park.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

A young unmarried couple get together in a house they believe to be safe. It is against the new Islamic law to have pre-marital sex.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

Christians gather in a church for holy mass. In Banda Aceh it is not permitted to build new churches as the authorities forbid the construction of any places of worship that isn't Islamic.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

Sheikh Syah Kula's grave and the mosque built around it are a very important place for prayer in Banda Aceh. 

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

Religious police stop a family riding a motorbike on moral grounds because they broke the dress code imposed by the new Islamic law. The law prohibits tight trousers: All clothing that display the shape of the body are banned.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

A woman and her husband, believed to be unmarried, are stopped and questioned by the religious police.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

A man is forced to do 10 push-ups as punishment for wearing shorts and sporting an 'improper' haircut.

/Antonio Zambardino/Al Jazeera

Confiscated goods at the police station include alcohol, a woman's bag, fire crackers, and improperly used Quranic inscriptions.

Tags: Aceh, Indonesia, Law, Non-Muslims, Sharia, imposed, now, on, province:

Views: 312

Replies to This Discussion

The mob then moved to a second church, where a group of people standing guard, including the police and military personnel, confronted them, the reports said.

At least it wasnt like in Pakistan, where the ploice would stand and warch - or even join in the attacks.

Christian churches in Indonesia province to be closed over Muslim groups’ pressure

Quelle surprise!  Has nobody told them there is no compunction in religion?  Mohammed only taught peace and tolerance, so those Indonesian Muslims must have got mixed up somewhere.  Still, no need to worry, the Christian leaders over here will rush to defend the closed churches.  Well, they will if they can take time off from defending Muslims rights, that is:

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