Bali is a popular tourist destination, particularly for Australians, even though it has sustained several jihad attacks, prompting Australia and New Zealand to issue travel advisories. Now, an additional threat looms for Western tourists who travel not only to Bali, but to all of Indonesia. Sharia enforcement has been expanding in that country. And now, a “dangerous” petition has been brought before the Constitutional Court of Indonesia to criminalize sex outside of marriage and same-sex relationships.
Since Bali is a popular destination for Australians, Human Rights Watch Indonesian researcher Andreas Harsono cautioned that “this meant Australians visiting Bali….could in theory find themselves committing a crime or offence if the petition becomes law nationally through an act of parliament.”
If this petition becomes law, it will bear other implications for Western tourists to Indonesia, since it has frequently been the case that expanding Sharia leads to vigilante Sharia patrols that terrorize non-conformists.
Indonesia has seen a “dramatic rise in recent months of intolerance of minorities including Christians, gay and lesbian people, women and even other Muslim groups,” all in keeping with the expanded influence of Sharia.
“Indonesian petition: ‘Dangerous’ law push could affect Australians”, News.com.Au, by Debra Killalea, September 24, 2017:
A PETITION intended to target same-sex relationships in Indonesia could have a huge impact on Australians visiting the tourist hotspot of Bali.
The petition, which was been put before Indonesia’s Constitutional Court this year, proposes amending the criminal code to criminalise sex outside of marriage as well as same-sex relations.
If the petition does become law across Indonesia it could have huge ramifications for Australian tourists and visitors to the Asian nation.
Human Rights Watch Indonesian researcher Andreas Harsono told news.com.au the petition and the thinking behind it was dangerous.
He said it also further fuelled discrimination towards the LGBTI community.
The petition, led by conservative group the Family Love Alliance, “put forward ill-informed and bigoted testimony similar to the anti-LGBT rhetoric espoused by Indonesian officials and politicians earlier this year,” Human Rights Watch said.
Mr Harsono, who was in Australia this week, said while the court’s decision didn’t make this petition legally enforceable, it had the potential to affect both heterosexual and homosexual couples.
Mr Harsono said this meant Australians visiting Bali, for example, could in theory find themselves committing a crime or offence if the petition becomes law nationally through an act of parliament.
“The group behind this petition want to make consensual relationships outside marriage illegal,” he said.
“If it becomes a national law, Australians could be punished. We’re now waiting for the verdict.
“If it is to materialise, it will be used to charge same-sex couples indeed. It will be a crime.”
Mr Harsono said he believed the petition intended to target the LGBTI community in particular because homosexuality was “not accepted” in Indonesia.
While same-sex relations are not technically illegal, except in the province of Banda Aceh, gay, lesbian and transgender Indonesians suffer huge discrimination across the country, Mr Harsono said.
He said some conservative Muslims viewed it as unnatural and as a mental illness.
“They believe if they accept it in their society, God’s anger will be on them,” he said.
Mr Harsono said there has been a dramatic rise in recent months of intolerance of minorities including Christians, gay and lesbian people, women and even other Muslim groups.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has failed to speak out against statements and policies by senior government and military officials that have fuelled hate and violations of the country’s LGBTI community, Human Rights Watch said.
Indonesia’s Aceh Province, on the northern tip of Sumatra island, is among the only place in the Muslim-majority country which implements the strict version of Sharia Law.
Under this law crimes including homosexuality and sex outside marriage are severely punished.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Indonesia has long been a bastion of moderate Islam, however hard-line Muslim groups have made recent inroads across the country, threatening its religious tolerance.
One group known as FPI is pushing to promote a stricter version of Islam across Indonesia and want to see sharia law become a model for the rest of Indonesia.
Just this month, a raid in the West Java province targeted 12 suspected lesbians.
Local Islamic youth groups and religious leaders complained the women’s cohabitation was “against the teachings of Islam.”
Human Rights Watch said the forced evictions violated the women’s right to privacy and police demanded the women relocate elsewhere with no legal justification…..