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Posts Tagged ‘indonesia’

Western aid funds enforcement of sharia

Posted by Richard on December 18, 2006

Remember all the money we contributed for disaster relief after the tsunami hit Southeast Asia? According to The Times of London, Indonesian Islamic extremists have spent the past two years diverting relief funds toward strengthening and enforcing sharia law:

WHEN people around the world sent millions of pounds to help the stricken Indonesian province of Aceh after the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, few could have imagined that their money would end up subsidising the lashing of women in public.

But militant Islamists have since imposed sharia law in Aceh and have cornered Indonesian government funds to organise a moral vigilante force that harasses women and stages frequent displays of humiliation and state-sanctioned violence.

International aid workers and Indonesian women’s organisations are now expressing dismay that the flow of foreign cash for reconstruction has allowed the government to spend scarce money on a new bureaucracy and religious police to enforce puritan laws, such as the compulsory wearing of headscarves.

Some say there are more “sharia police” than regular police on the local government payroll and that many of them are aggressive young men.

“Who are these sharia police?” demanded Nurjannah Ismail, a lecturer at Aceh’s Ar-Raniri University. “They are men who, most of the time, are trying to send the message that their position is higher than women.”

According to Western Resistance, the Islamists moved in quickly after the disaster:

The Front Pembela Islam is one of the main forces which is trying to turn Indonesia’s "moderate" version of Islam into a hardline sharia-controlled variety. They had 5,000 individuals in the tsunami disaster area within a month of the calamity. Other groups who came to Banda Aceh were the Islamic extremists of Hizb ut-Tahrir and Laskar Mujahideen. …

A religious police force, called the Wilayatul Hisbah was able to control the population, exploiting religious beliefs to enact strict discipline upon the stricken survivors. Marluddin Jalil, a sharia judge, told people in the region last December that "The tsunami was because of the sins of the people of Aceh". He also said that it had brought about because women had been sinful. …

Sharia law had officially been introduced in 2002 to Aceh – the first of Indonesia’s 33 provinces to enact Islamic law. Before the tsunami, enforcement of Islamic law generally applied only to issues of family law, but with the promotion of the myth that the tsunami had come because of the region’s sins, its enforcers became more draconian.

Sharia law used to be applied only to Muslims, but now it’s being extended to non-Muslims as well. Canings — for such offenses as drinking beer or being a woman who’s not properly covered — have become public spectacles. Some have even been televised. A bill was recently introduced to authorize hand amputations as punishment for theft.

I’m sure these developments are just another completely understandable manifestation of Muslim outrage over the American occupation of Iraq and the Jooooos’ insistence on continuing to exist. Just ask that great humanitarian and impartial commentor on Middle East issues, Jimmy Carter.

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