Most individuals when travelling to an Islamic country are aware that their laws are very different to Western laws. Some countries though only have some areas where Islamic law is applied. Indonesia is an example of such a country as constitutionally it is a secular state. In some parts of Indonesia there are sharia police to patrol the streets and even knock on hotel doors to arrest people having premarital sex or committing adultery. In other parts of Indonesia there is more freedom.
Up until now Sharia law has not been applied to non-Muslim citizens. For the first time ever in Indonesia a non-Muslim, Christian woman has been caned under Islamic law for selling alcohol.The fact that the woman chose to be punished under Sharia law to escape jail time is irrelevant. It is only a matter of time before choice is removed and non-muslims will be punished exactly the same as Muslims under the law.Imagine how bad the jails must be there for her to choose to be beaten rather than do time?
It is clear that Indonesia is a secular government in name only. If you are travelling to Indonesia you need to be as cautious as you would be in Saudi Arabia. Being non-Muslim will not protect you. Indonesia to all intents and purposes is now an Islamic Country ruled by religion.
A 60-year-old Christian woman convicted of selling alcohol was given a choice for her punishment: jail time or caning.
She chose caning, and in doing so last week became the first non-Muslim in Indonesia to receive the punishment under sharia law.
Remita Sinaga, a Protestant, received 28 lashes from a rattan cane Tuesday in the town of Takengon in Aceh province.
Pictures posted online show Sinaga standing in a purple head scarf, her head downcast; beside her a person veiled in black extends the cane, as if preparing to administer a blow. A few onlookers watch in the background.
Sinaga was found guilty by a Central Aceh Islamic court of selling alcohol, after police seized 50 bottles of alcoholic beverages from her stall. Sinaga had been given a sentence of 30 lashes, but it was reduced to take into account time she spent in detention.
The head of Aceh’s Sharia Department, Syahrizal Abbas, said qanun jinayat — an Islamic criminal code in place in Aceh — is reserved only for Muslims, but non-Muslims could choose to submit to it if they desire.
“The woman voluntarily submitted to the punishment because she thought the alternative was worse: a jail time under the national law,” Abbas said in a phone interview Friday. “She didn’t want to spend time in prison because we’re all aware that prison conditions are bad and there’s little welfare there.”
In 2015, the Indonesian government banned sales of alcohol in small shops.
The central government granted Aceh, a devoutly Muslim province of 4.7 million people, special autonomy in 2002 to mollify desires for independence, allowing the province to impose its version of sharia, or Islamic law.
…Under the code, sex out of wedlock and same-sex sexual acts are punishable by 100 lashes of the cane, or 100 months in prison. Consuming or selling alcohol is punishable by up to 40 lashes, gambling 12 lashes, and mixing between the opposite sexes while unmarried 12 lashes.
Officials have insisted that the punishment is not intended to hurt offenders physically, but to humiliate them to deter them from committing similar offenses in the future.
This statement is a blatant lie as the below photo and caption show.
…Haris Azhar, coordinator for the Kontras human rights group, said the application of sharia in the case of a non-Muslim set a “bad precedent.”
“Caning itself is inhuman and a form of torture, and this form of punishment should never be implemented anywhere in Indonesia,” he said.
“From the non-Muslim perspective, it’s something frightening,” he added. “It will only damage the image of Muslim society.”