“There’s really no such thing as just Sharia, it’s not one monolithic Continuum – Sharia is understood in thousands of different ways over the 1,500 years in which multiple and competing schools of law have tried to construct some kind of civic penal and family law code that would abide by Islamic values and principles, it’s understood in many different ways…” — Reza Aslan
And yet whenever we see Sharia implemented, it looks the same. Now, why is that?
“House to Mull Bill Banning Alcoholic Beverages in Indonesia,” by Markus Junianto Sihaloho for the Jakarta Globe, December 20 (thanks to Lookmann):
Indonesia would introduce stiff penalties for the consumption of all alcoholic beverages under a controversial bill drafted by the country”s oldest Islamic party, which is seeking an effective ban on the sale, production and consumption of alcohol in the Muslim-majority nation.
Hard alcohol is already heavily regulated in Indonesia, where hefty taxes contribute to some of the highest prices in the region and local bylaws limit the open sale of liquor in some regions.
The proposed legislation, drafted by the United Development Party (PPP), would go further, effectively banning all alcohol, including domestically produced beer like Bintang, in a push that would make Indonesia a dry country.
Those caught consuming alcohol could face up to two years in prison. Distributors would face up to five years in prison while producers could face a maximum of 10 years.
“This will be a total ban, and not just an attempt to regulate production, distribution and consumption of alcohol,” Arwani Thomafi, the PPP secretary at the House of Representatives, said on Thursday.
The bill is among 70 priority bills scheduled for deliberation next year.
The party introduced the bill to bring the nation “in line with religious guidelines” as well as address the negative impact of excessive alcohol consumption on people’s health, Arwani said.
He claimed that alcohol consumption had spurred a rise in crime and offered no significant contribution to state revenue.
Tourist areas and “certain ethnicities” might be spared the ban, Arwani said. He did not explain which tourist areas or ethnic groups would be allowed to drink alcohol under the ban.
Arwani brushed off any potential controversy the bill might generate during its deliberation as a normal part of the legislative process.
“I think it’s part of the usual dynamics in bill deliberations,” he said.
Arwani also confirmed that the bill had been included in next year’s list of priority legislation at the expense of a much-criticized bill to amend the law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
“The alcohol bill has been included in the list of 2013 priority legislation to replace the KPK law revision. There are 19 bills that are still being drafted. A total of 58 new bills have been included in the list of priority legislation,” he said.
He insisted that alcohol was banned in every religion because it could endanger people’s lives….
Yep. Every last one.