Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf of Ground Zero Mosque fame assures us that Sharia and the U.S. Constitution are fully compatible. Yet everywhere Sharia is implemented, we see the same things: stonings, amputations, oppression of women, terrorizing of non-Muslims. And so here we go again: “Aceh goes to the polls under the austere shadow of sharia,” from AFP, April 10 (thanks to Kenneth):
INDONESIA’S only province ruled by Islamic sharia was last night counting votes to elect a powerful governor in polls that will test a fragile peace following a 30-year separatist war.
The elections in Aceh are the second since the province suffered 170,000 fatalities in the Asian tsunami of 2004, and since the war against Indonesian rule ended in 2005, having claimed 15,000 lives.
Voters were electing the governor – the top post in the province – as well as 17 district heads and deputies….
Aceh, on the western edge of the scattered Indonesian archipelago, enjoys broad autonomy and is an anomaly in a country where most of the 240 million people practise a moderate form of Islam.
Alcohol is freely sold in the rest of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, but it is banned in Aceh. In some of the province’s regions, women are forbidden to wear tight trousers.
Gamblers and drinkers are publicly caned. Debate still churns in Aceh over whether adulterers should continue to be publicly flogged or stoned to death.
Irwandi Yusuf, 51, who was elected governor in December 2006 and is seeking a second five-year term, backs sharia but has opposed stricter enforcement, such as the harshest punishment for adultery.
Among his four challengers are Teungku Ahmad Tajuddin, a 49-year-old Islamic schoolteacher who wants stricter rules of sharia, but is not considered a serious contender, and 71-year-old Zaini Abdullah, who is backed by the powerful Aceh Party and is a former freedom fighter, as is Mr Yusuf.
The result of yesterday’s vote will determine the role of the 1000-strong Wilayatul Hisbah or Islamic polic [sic] in the enforcement of sharia.
In the capital last week, as reporters watched, a woman peeled away from her husband, reached for a scarf and quickly wrapped it around her head as a patrol approached; a petrified couple hopped on a motorcycle and fled.
But another pair hiding behind a large rock on the beach were not so lucky.
“Are you married?” roared a burly officer, as he approached the cringing couple, who shook their heads.
“This is unacceptable in Aceh.
“We have sharia laws here.
“Go along now, go home,” he said after examining their identity cards.