Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Vigilante Sharia: sexual torture as the enforcement weapon of choice in Aceh

By now the US and world wire service has reprinted the story that first appeared in the Jakarta papers last week of the woman suspected of adultery in Aceh who was raped by 8 men, doused with excrement, then turned over to Sharia “authorities” for her “real” punishment. And I do believe that almost the entire global community finds this incident as sickening as I do, but there are so many layers of sickness to it that authorities, world leaders, human rights NGOs, and Acehnese citizens themselves seem paralyzed to do anything that will help the situation.  Where do you start?  Start with a province where the majority live in poverty, are jobless, unable to feed their families, have barely survived 30 years of warfare in their own backyards, and then ten years ago watched as 180,000 of their family members were swept away by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.  Start with the venomous bitterness that the thousands of Free Aceh Movement (GAM) supporters feel towards the Indonesian government for not keeping promises made as far back as the 1940’s regarding Aceh’s ability to govern itself.  Start with (as usual) corrupt and greedy politicians who promise these poor, disenfranchised, furious young men that if they help elect this or that politician (using whatever means necessary) Aceh will be given full autonomy and will be able to claim what is its right.  And that “right,” specifically, is the proceeds from natural resource extraction.  And they are convinced that since the “enemy” is Jakarta, the Indonesian Constitution is also the enemy.  No matter what Sharia implies, the fact that it is not the law of the land according to Jakarta is enough for most of the disenfranchised to grasp it to their bosoms regardless of their understanding of it.  Understanding is not the issue for these delirious groups of men spoiling for a fight.  Contrary to what some of the articles regarding this rape and caning have reported, Aceh is NOT allowed to practice Sharia if it violates the spirit of the Constitution. The Helsinki MoU stated that National law takes precedence over Sharia law.  There is NO national precedent for caning, stoning, rape, or public humiliation.

 All politicians know this, but few are acting on this blatant disregard for the law so close to election time.  I do not know what their excuses were the other times this raping of a “Sharia violator” has happened.  And it happens a lot, especially in eastern Aceh, GAM stronghold, only it was the Sharia police themselves who raped the suspected adulterers.  I doubt they raped the men involved.  And I wonder why that act in itself is not considered adultery, and why they were not caned.  I suppose it’s too much to wish for extra.  Where’s a useful gang of Sharia rapists when you need them?  I am trying my hardest not to become disillusioned by a few incidents, but it is very difficult not to despair right now.

Another thing the articles are missing is that these thugs, rapists and witch-hunters are not even obeying the twisted version of Sharia that they purport to be upholding.  For one thing, “adultery” can only be proved by having three witnesses to the actual sexual event (which is not just an unsupervised visit to someone’s house—that may be against Sharia but it’s not adultery.)  So . . . three witnesses to adultery . . . which makes you wonder about the mental health of a society that by and large has nothing better to do then lurk about in packs of three or more, looking for people who they hope they can see punished.  The fact that these articles report that “prominent Islamic leader” Teungku Faisal Ali "cautioned citizens against taking Sharia into their own hands" is fairly ironic, since that is what Aceh’s administration has done all along--for political, not religious reasons. Jakarta will not step in and put an end to this horror show so close to the presidential elections—yet that is what it MUST do, now.  Everyone's a Sharia vigilante now—it gives these impoverished and marginalized fighting-age males a convenient target for all their rage and powerlessness—and it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.

For my part I plan on contacting as many human rights organizations and global women’s groups as I can to at least place a spotlight on what has become essentially a fascist state run by sexual sadists.

Jakarta has got to step up NOW and put an end to this flouting of the Constitution.
My Indonesian friends are also saddened, disgusted, and disheartened about what has happened.  One writes “I am angry, sad, and frustrated because I don't know what to do to stop that stupid Shariah law!! Maybe we should call it ‘Shariah low!’"
Another wrote back to her: “Please let’s not give up; as Bung Karno said, ‘There is no end for a fighting nation.’ We should move forwards until justice prevails.  I am just not sure whether I can be in Jakarta right now.”

Read the article/s here:

Indonesian woman who was gang raped by eight men now faces caning for adultery
Eight men allegedly gang-raped a widow in the conservative province of Aceh, accusing her of having sex with a married man. The region’s Sharia leader decided that despite the trauma that came from rape, the woman still deserves to be caned for the initial charge of adultery.
BY Carol Kuruvilla  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, May 8, 2014, 11:51 AM

Aceh Rape Victim to Be Caned, Shariah Official Insists

Indonesian gang-rape victim faces caning
Widow purportedly punished for having sex with married man may still be caned for affair under sharia laws of Aceh province      Tuesday 6 May 2014 09.52 EDT




    1. Which for those of you who don't read Thug-ese, says something like "See, please don't be so westernized, you British stooge, your teachers are Communist . . . you are such outlandish folks, screw you."
      He says it like it's a *bad* thing . . . .
      Just when yo think there is an issue (senseless brutality of innocent citizens) on which everyone agrees, out of the woodwork comes . . . Anonymous! (of course: the bravest of lads)