Not Fasting – How About A Whipping? Aceh Slips Deeper Into Barbarism

Got home last night, watched a good dvd about the Spanish Civil War – ‘Here Be Dragons’ – and then, when I saw that Bruce Willis was back in Mercury Rising, screened for the tenth time on Trans TV, settled for a quick scan of the news on the internet prior to catching up on the zeds I missed at the weekend.

The Sharia Hell of Aceh!

Then I chanced upon a horror film. The MetroTV news!

‘ A total of four people in West Aceh face sentence of flogging under Islamic Sharia law after police caught them not fasting but drinking coffee at a shop on Monday. The four were taken to a police station. The owner of the stall, Johan, claimed he’d been shut since Ramadan began, not providing food or beverages during the day. But officers found a glass of coffee, still warm.

These Aceh enforcers are dealing in primitive savagery. Fasting is an act of self-denial. If you choose, voluntarily, to go without food till 6pm, then you are said to be showing great self-restraint. That’s where the moral credit aspect comes into Ramadan. There’s no spiritual kudos due if you are forced to go without. And by the threat of a public whipping?

But in Aceh is there any real morality at all, when, if you choose not to fast, the local provincial goon squad grabs you and hauls you off to jail, to await the lash?

 I was – as so often – slightly incredulous, so I checked the Jakarta Post.

Jakarta Globe 8/8 –

Meulaboh, Aceh. Public Order Agency officers in West Aceh, Aceh, arrested three Muslims for failing to fast on Sunday. Jhon Aswir, spokesman for the agency, known as Satpol-PP, said KN, ML and HD were arrested as they had lunch in a restaurant. “We had to arrest them because they do not respect other Muslims who are fasting,” Jhon said.

How can anybody ‘respect’ a system that uses gestapo tactics to impose what should be an individual’s free choice?

And since my curiosity, ever lively, was piqued, I checked some more, and found that the Satpol PP morality guardians had been picking on kids too. Tribun Jambi last Friday had a similar scabrous report from the bigot province.

Officers of  Satpol PP Banda Aceh arrested six students for truancy and not fasting. The students were picked up when  busily browsing the internet in a cyber cafe (cafe) in the region Jln P Nyak Tomb, Lambhuk, Kuta Alam district, around 10:00 am, Thursday.

Truancy, fair enough, but what the heck business is it of those Satpol militia twits if the kids want a Coke while they’re enjoying the internet?

Last week it was the tin-pot tyrant Mayor of Bengkulu, bribing snitches to inform on fellow-citizens and then sending round  police to seize a NON-Muslim for eating a snack.

Now, unsurprisingly, it’s the abominable Achenese sharia-freaks.

What possible justification can there be for these nazi-style tactics? Are the voluntary fasters up in Bengkulu and Aceh such weak-willed potential back-sliders that the mere proximity of a guy sipping a cup of coffee will subvert their self-discipline?

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong wih corporal punishment. But it should fit the crime. Those rioters in  London would benefit greatly from a dose of it. Although had it been applied regularly at school it might have long since induced respect for the rule of law. Still, better late than never.

Here in Indonesia, there are numbers of corrupt officials and politicians who’d be ideal candidates, not to mention thugs like those FPI in Makassar reported here yesterday.

But for drinking a cup of coffee?

Grow up, IslamoNazis!