Aceh launches crackdown on ‘un-Islamic’ behaviour
BANDA ACEH: Police in the Indonesian province of Aceh have launched a month-long crackdown on “un-Islamic behaviour” targeting unmarried couples, officials said Friday.
Aceh is gradually implementing Islamic Sharia law under a broad autonomy package granted by the central government in 2001 to pacify demands for independence in the staunchly Muslim region.
The province-wide crackdown is particularly aimed at unmarried couples being together without a chaperone or valid reason.
“Since the launch of the operation on Wednesday, we have arrested nine people for breaking Islamic law,” Sharia police spokesman Wirzaini Usman told AFP.
Offenders could face flogging with a rattan cane but so far have generally been let off with a warning.
While Islamic law is usually enforced by special Sharia police, regular police and the military are also involved in raids on beauty salons and other places accused of breaking Islamic law.
“Beauty parlors should announce that they only receive women and staff should wear proper Islamic clothes,” Raja Radan, head of the Banda Aceh Sharia office, told the official Antara news agency during a raid in the provincial capital. Radan asked a beauty parlor owner to rip down room dividers so quarters were not used for any “un-Islamic” activities, implying the business was a front for prostitution. afp