Target: Aceh Governor, Zaini Abdullah
Goal: Stop implementation of oppressive Sharia law
A province in Indonesia is now implementing strict Sharia law and punishments for seemingly benign activities that are resulting in public floggings and other harsh punishments. Many prosecutors are running rampant by targeting women and interpreting the law how they see fit. Urge lawmakers to repeal the expansion of Sharia law in the province of Aceh.
Although Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, the country was based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulation. Unfortunately, this has changed and the Aceh province has been allowed to enforce Sharia law. After a 2001 compromise with separatists, a political change in Indonesia led to much more strict religious justice in Aceh. While the primary targets of the law are women, anyone can be charged with crimes, including non-Muslims and foreigners.
The law will include harsher punishments for premarital sex, gay sex, and adultery. Other offenses are immodest dress attire and buying or carrying alcoholic beverages, which could result in a punishment of 10 strokes of the cane, 10 months in prison, or a maximum fine of 100 grams in gold. If a rape suspect pleads innocence and takes sumpah dilaknat Allah (an Islamic oath), then they can be dismissed by the courts. This is incredibly discouraging for rape victims and will only lead to more future rape crimes.
By enforcing stricter Sharia law to Muslims, non-Muslims, and foreigners, this could potentially attract more Islamic militants whose beliefs align with the conservative province. The repercussions of this law are already being seen and this law needs to be condemned and repealed. Please sign the petition below to urge the governor of Aceh to encourage lawmakers to change this restricting law.
Dear Governor Abdullah,
The Aceh legislature voted to enforce an expansion of Sharia law and dole out harsher punishments for violators. The implications of these punishments is concerning. Public floggings for dressing immodestly or carrying alcohol is incredibly severe and the extension of the law to non-Muslims and foreigners makes this even more strict.
Women remain the primary targets of law enforcement who interpret Sharia law how they see fit. This includes public floggings and severe jail sentences for seemingly minor violations. Even worse, rape charges can be dismissed by the courts if the suspects plead innocence through an Islamic oath. This is a huge step backward for the Indonesian government and it needs to be condemned and repealed.
Religious extremism is dangerous for any country. Islamic militants could be attracted to the province of Aceh due to its conservative nature. Additionally, the expansion of the law to foreigners could hurt Aceh’s tourism. Most importantly, it is an encroachment on fundamental human rights and should be reversed. Please urge lawmakers to repeal the expansion of Sharia law in the province of Aceh.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: public domain via Wikimedia Commons