Aceh parliament passes stoning law

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Ze
Aceh parliament passes stoning law

Quote:
The sharia qanun passed by the Aceh parliament this week is no less dangerous to Indonesia than the recent terrorist attacks in the capital Jakarta. The qanun will allow for adulterers to be stoned to death, and will put Indonesia on a slippery slope, threatening the rights of its people and risking its proud standing as an international beacon of moderate Islam.

Where the July bombings helped unite Muslims across the country in outrage at the barbarism and inhumanity of radical Islamists, most startlingly, the stoning bill has elicited little public condemnation. Only a handful of human rights groups have voiced their concerns at a law that grossly abuses the rights of Acehnese.

[url=http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/09/19/stop-cruel-sharia-qanun039..., writing in the Jakarta Post[/url]

 

mahmud

Unfortunately neither you nor your reference cared to provide the text of this legislation (or a link thereto) -including the section that purportedly allows -among other things- stoning and whether this legislation would apply to all of Acehnese. Too many important things you left out and all I read is a Tarek-Fatahesque alarmism.

 

remind remind's picture

That it applies to any is alarming, not sure why you would make a distinction.

I thought the point of the moderate's silence was interesting, as is it very typical of everywhere in the world.

You could always look for the text yourself if you are skeptical.

 

sanizadeh

mahmud wrote:

Unfortunately neither you nor your reference cared to provide the text of this legislation (or a link thereto) -including the section that purportedly allows -among other things- stoning and whether this legislation would apply to all of Acehnese. Too many important things you left out and all I read is a Tarek-Fatahesque alarmism.

If they are talking about sharia penal code, the stoning of adulterers is automatically in it.

sanizadeh

Not that I essentially disagree with you about the problems of Islamic sharia, but the word Qanun simply means "law" or "bill". Why not calling it "Sharia bill" in the thread title? Does calling it 'Qanun'  and putting it in quotes give it a more sinister feeling?

Reminds me of a report by a US organization about 10-15 years ago warning about the relationship between Iranian muslim student associations in the US and the Iranian government. The report authors had decided that "Muslim student association" was not scary enough. So they replaced it throughout the report with "ANJOMAN ESLAMI" in caps letter. The "ANJOMAN ESLAMI" will do this and that. The word exactly means "Muslim student association". Now I agree with the report that those MSAs were mostly agents of the Iranian government, but playing on the audience ignorance to scare them more is not really honest either.

Ze

As to title - I've used the JPost article title as the thread title, didn't make it up myself. In Aceh, qanun is used to distinguish a law passed by the automomous Acehnese government, as opposed to a law passed by the national government. However, sanizadeh, I take your point, using an Arabic term can seem more frightening to Western readers raised on fear of Islam. I'd edit the title if such was possible on babble. 

Aguswandi is a prominent Acehnese human rights activist. His Islam Online bio note can be found [url=http://www.islamonline.net/LiveDialogue/English/Guestcv.asp?hGuestID=1k3...

Stoning is most certainly in the law and consistent with the syariah-ization of the newly self-governing Aceh - a theft of the gains of a people's movement by a socially conservative religious establishment, in the view of many Acehnese who fought hard for the end of Indonesian military oppression. Stoning is mentioned in [url=http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/09/20099141814258764... Jazeera's coverage[/url] and Indonesian press reports, though I have not seen the text of the law as passed (nor is it likely to be online in English I'd guess, such things are not automatically translated after all. It's not online in Indonesian on the Aceh government website http://www.nad.go.id/Kepemerintahan/2.14/Qanun).

From [url=http://lists.topica.com/lists/[email protected]/read/message.... Post coverage:[/url]

Quote:
Faisal Ali, secretary general of the Aceh Association of Ulema (HUDA), said the bylaw was formulated by legal experts on Islam, and that there was nothing to fear from it.

Regarding the capital punishment by stoning for adulterers, both Muslim or non Muslim, he said the requirements were very strict.

“The implementation of the stoning penalty is not easy and needs
four witnesses with strict requirements, such as being honest
and proven to have a clean track record, he said. With
consistent implementation of the criminal code, he said, there
would be no need for the stoning penalty.

[url=http://www.vhrmedia.com/The-Government-Is-Failed-to-Settle-the-National-... more coverage on Indonesian women's groups efforts here.[/url]

One more:

Quote:
Human rights activists and legislators have condemned the Aceh

Legislative Council's (DPRD) plan to pass a regional bill that
would see those found guilty of "ethical" crimes, such as
adultery, stoned in public.

"Stoning is constitutionally baseless. Such punishment is cruel,
inhuman and degrades the value of humanity," Usman Hamid, the
coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of
Violence (Kontras), told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

"Every single human being has non-negotiable human rights, such
as the right to not be abused or treated cruelly," he added.

The Aceh DPRD plans to pass the bill on Monday.

Anyone who is found guilty of committing adultery, by a sharia
court, will be stoned.

[url=http://lists.topica.com/lists/[email protected]/read/message....'s plans to stone 'ethical' criminals condemned[/url]

I should add that the vice-governor is trying to stop this and that the parliament that passed it has just been swept out of office by the more leftist Aceh Party. I would normally contextualize rising support for socially conservative fundamentalists as a form of resistance to Western imperialism, but this doesn't seem to be such a case - rather a strong popular movement in Acehnese civil society is pitted against a religious establishment intent on stifling dissent. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I can't comment on the piece, but I know that Ze is not prone to 'Tarek-Fatahesque alarmism'. When s/he speaks, I listen.

mahmud

There are as many interpretations of sharia as islamic schools of thought, there are as many interpretations of sharia as muslim societies. Tunisian women for example enjoy their full rights to equality. Yet, th elaw is sharia inspired. Polygamy has been outlawed since independence, 1956, based on Tunisian Sunni Malaki interpretation of sharia .  They did not call it sharia perhaps because of an anticipated reation of Westerners (as seen above). Tunisia is a "moderate", constitutionally Islamic state, and open society.  

Pre-independence Tunisia was ruled by Khalifas, Qadhis and the whole nine yeards, applying sharia.  Yet, stoning never ever happened. 

I would like to ascertain in particular that stoning is in this proposed legislation. Period. I am trying to be not judgemental on the basis of a mere word "sharia", if you know what I mean!

Ze

Mahmud, the law is summarized in some of the linked, non-Western commentary written by Indonesian Muslims, and the fact that it includes stoning is not disputed - its supporters say that it does. As I said, I'd re-word the title of this thread to change it away from the Jakarta Post's original title if I could. I do not believe anyone here has been Pavloved into anything (though I like that word Pavloved a lot!) As I also said, the Aceh government has not made an official version available (perhaps because the Governor is opposed to what the regional parliament has passed, or perhaps because they're not updating their web site daily).

However, I've found a draft version, though not in English. It's available via the Wahid Institute at http://74.125.153.132/custom?q=cache:L-TYFTo6TMEJ:www.wahidinstitute.org... (cached version). Operative paragraphs on stoning for adultery:

(34) Zina hukumnya haram dan setiap orang dilarang melakukan zina.

(37) Setiap orang yang melakukan jarimah sebagaimana dimaksud dalam Pasal 34 diancam dengan 'uqubat hudud 100 (seratus) kali cambuk bagi yang belum menikah dan 'uqubat rajam/hukuman mati bagi yang sudah menikah.

Feel free to google-translate, but in short: adultery is forbidden. Every person who does this shall be faced with 100 lashes for those not yet married, or the death penalty by stoning for those who are married.

There is at least the prospect that "every person" will be interpreted to mean every Muslim, but this is still objectionable to the Muslim NGO activists opposing the law. 

I hope this, plus the statements of activists and ulama, are enough to prove that stoning for adultery is indeed in the law, and that the word syariah has not been used to evoke Islamophobia.

sanizadeh

mahmud wrote:

There are as many interpretations of sharia as islamic schools of thought, there are as many interpretations of sharia as muslim societies. Tunisian women for example enjoy their full rights to equality. Yet, th elaw is sharia inspired. Polygamy has been outlawed since independence, 1956, based on Tunisian Sunni Malaki interpretation of sharia .  They did not call it sharia perhaps because of an anticipated reation of Westerners (as seen above). Tunisia is a "moderate", constitutionally Islamic state, and open society.  

I could be wrong but as far as I know, Tunisia is a secular dictatorship where many Islamic tradictions such as Hijab are banned in official places like universities. That by itself indicates that its code of law is not based on Sharia. I am not aware of any Islamic school of thought that allows banning of Hijab and polygamy. That would be against Mohammad's Sunnah and thus would violate Sharia.

True, there are many different school of thoughts in Sharia but all of them agree on certain rules. I am interested to know which school bans polygamy and stoning (both adopted into Islamic law from ancient Jewish law). References are appreciated.

It is a fact (based on evidence of every place it has been implemented) that Sharia law is quite archaic and does not fit in the modern world. Trying to whitewash it does not help either muslims or non-muslims.

mahmud

I can see the Shia influence in your narrative. If some issues Sunna/Shi3a could be resolved they would have been a long long time ago and surely it is not on this forum nor you and I who would do that. 

sanizadeh

 

mahmud wrote:

Tunisia is a an Islamic state according to its constitution. You may say a dictatorship but it is an equal opportunity -male female, thugh I wonder what does that have to do with the subject at hand,

Tunisia is an Islamic state but its code of law is not based on Sharia, which is the subject of this thread. It is not just me saying it is a secular dictatorship, it is a historical fact. Bringing Tunisia as an example of a successful, "moderate" application of Sharia is ridiculous.

Quote:

You do not seem to have any understanding of the issue. Neither the Qur'an nor the Sunna made polygamy a sine qua non to Islam. Early Islam allowed alcohol but when people showed up drunk at mosques the rule changed: alcohol became haraam. A strong indication that changes to suit situations is allowed.

I was a practicing muslim for most of my life with a very good understanding of what I am talking about. Changes in rules were allowed only by God or by the Prophet. After him, any changes to the rules that set up in Quran and Sunna was considered "Bid'ah" (false invention) and banned. Interpretation was limited only to the cases where there was not an explicit direction in Sunnah or Quran. Regarding polygamy, the point is not that it was compulsary as you said, but that it was permissible and could not be banned. Please show me a reference from any Islamic school of thought that says otherwise.

Quote:

You said that stoning iActually I challenge you to show me that stoning is in the Qur'an or in the Sunna, because it is not.....

Don't you see your contradiction. Stoning is adopted from ancient Jewish law, which is correct, But by whom? The Qur'an? No. The Sunna? No. SO how is it part of the sharia? Because some ignorant in Afghanistan, Iran and God knows where said so, Sanizadeh said Amen it Islamic, it is sharia,

You need to study a bit more on Sunnah and the history of Sharia. Stoning and many other elements of Shariah are indeed part of the Sunnah. It was practiced during prophet Mohammad as well as the early Khalifas. It did come from Jewish law because the jewish law was indeed the basis of most Sharia laws in early Islam; as confirmed by the Prophet himself when he said the religion of Islam is the continuation and purification of the religion of the people of the book.

Now I challenge you to bring specific reference of any Islamic school of thought (Sunni or Shia) to support your claim that polygamy and stoning were not part of sharia. Calling me ignorant is not going to help your case.

There has been many attempts to refine and modernize Sharia; I know several scholars in Iran working on that, and some limited fatwas in that regard which has not yet been accepted by the mainstream. The key roadblock, again, is Sunnah. Sharia cannot be modernized until a majority of Muslim scholars attempt to reinterpret Sunnah in a away that allows changing of the rules from what Prophet Mohammad practiced. One way to accelerate this process is to expose the archaic and inhuman nature of the current rules in Sharia and its incompatibility with the modern world.

sanizadeh

mahmud wrote:

I can see the Shia influence in your narrative. If some issues Sunna/Shi3a could be resolved they would have been a long long time ago and surely it is not on this forum nor you and I who would do that. 

This is not a shia vs. sunni issue. The sunni approach to the subject is even more strict than Shia. You can bring references from Sunni sources if you prefer.

mahmud

I cannot follow your logic, sanizadeh. You are a practising Muslim. You reject sharia as archaic. Fine, you are still Muslim. But to you, since Tunisia had outlawed polygamy, it went "against" the Sunnah and thus its Islamity is in doubt. 

sanizadeh

mahmud wrote:

I cannot follow your logic, sanizadeh. You are a practising Muslim. You reject sharia as archaic. Fine, you are still Muslim. But to you, since Tunisia had outlawed polygamy, it went "against" the Sunnah and thus its Islamity is in doubt. 

I did not say whether the government is perceived as Islamic or not, but the fact that its code of law does not appear to be based on Sharia. That makes a difference between a secular state and a state based on Sharia. This thread is about Sharia not about Tunisia. Please allow me to repeat my question: Can you specifically direct us to a reference from any mainstream Islamic school of thought (Sunni or Shia) that bans polygamy, stoning and Hijab?

An individual can be selective in the way s/he practices a religion, but when we are talking about a whole code of law such as Sharia, we can't just go by our personal preference. Even if you and I think a specific sentence is not or should not be part of Sharia, that would not make Sharia modern or reformed as long as the majority of mainstream muslim scholars do not come on board.

remind remind's picture

Yes, please, it makes it difficult to read.

mahmud

Sanizadeh,

There are as many interpretations of sharia as islamic schools of thought, there are as many interpretations of sharia as muslim societies. Tunisian women for example enjoy their full rights to equality. Yet, th elaw is sharia inspired. Polygamy has been outlawed since independence, 1956, based on Tunisian Sunni Malaki interpretation of sharia .  They did not call it sharia perhaps because of an anticipated reation of Westerners (as seen above). Tunisia is a "moderate", constitutionally Islamic state, and open society.  

Tunisia is a an Islamic state according to its constitution. You may say a dictatorship but it is an equal opportunity one, though I wonder what does that have to do with the subject at hand, the status of women. Banning the hijab does not indicate anything other than recent pressure from France, while the regime is attemting to join the European Economic Area. Now, according to your logic one could argue that the Canadian Constitution has been suspended because there are a some individuals who are locked up indefinitively without knowing their crimes, without seeing the evidence and without even being charged.

Or maybe you are inclined to some takfeer of your own. No hijab, no polygamy and no stoning, therefore Tunisia is no longer Islamic 

You do not seem to have any understanding of the issue. Neither the Qur'an nor the Sunna made polygamy sine qua non to Islam. Early Islam allowed alcohol but when people showed up drunk at mosque prayers, the rule changed: alcohol became haraam. A strong indication that changes to suit situations is allowed. Furthermore, Fiqh and Ijtihaad are part and parcel of sharia and do allow dealing with situations within their time and circumstances. The Qur'an itself dealt with issues within their time and circumstances hence perceived "contradictions" by the less knowledgeable. That is what happened in Tunisia, Ijtiihaad. Prophet Mohammed married many wives, so  Sanizadeh concludes that polygamy is a must to Muslims. Well, the Propher was a shepherd and then a merchant. According to your logic no Muslim should work in any other occupation lest that goes against this "Sunna".  

For your information, in Tunisia polygamy has been outlawed in 1956 while the banning of hijab is post 911.

 I challenge you to show me that stoning is in the Qur'an or in the Sunna and I also challenge you to tell us who exactly "adopted". The Prophet was simply respectful of Jews and Christians to follow their own books. He asked to be presented with the Torah and had the question of the Jewish folk who came to him answered. 

Don't you see your contradictions and the apparent influence of some takfeer indoctrination: No polygamy is against the Sunna, you stated. No Taliban could have put it any better. Stoning is "adopted" from ancient Jewish law, which is correct, But by whom? The Qur'an? No. The Sunna? No. SO how is it part of the sharia? Because some ignorant in Afghanistan, Iran and God knows where said so, Sanizadeh said Amen it Islamic, it is sharia,

If I am whitewashing you must be spreading misinformation and distorted "logic", not intentionally but by [ignorance- Edited to be] a lack of knowledge.

mahmud

What I find frightening, sanizadeh, is when progressive Muslims argue that sharia is archaic -I don't disagree- but also argue that any (ijtihaad) effort to bring it up to date will render it a non-sharia and thus un-Islamic. What would you expect Muslims to do? Just quit being Muslims?  Is your beef with the word "sharia" or its content? It seems to me that even if it is content is brought up date, it is the word "sharia" that seems to bother. 

sanizadeh

No, it does not have to be about quiting Islam necessarily, however some fundamental principles will have to change. There are many efforts underway by some forward looking muslim scholars to deal with the problem. Suggestions range from abondonment of Sharia and focusing on personal and spiritual aspects of Islam (somehow close to modern Christianity), to re-interpreting Sunnah in a new way to drop the legal aspects of it (like reform Judaism) or to focus on "What mohammad would do today" as opposed of "What mohammad did 1400 years ago" in specific cases. I am more familiar with the work of Iranian scholars on this topic, but no doubt many in the other parts of the Muslim world are working along the same lines. It will be a difficult and rocky road, and perhaps as bloody as the fights in Christian Europe in reform years. However it is a battle that must be fought, by progressive muslims, if we want to bring enlightment back to our lands.

sanizadeh

BTW it seems you missed a closing (/quote) in your post#10. Every post after that is idented. Can you edit that post please?

 

p.s. thanks for fixing it.

contrarianna

This paper may, or may not, be interesting, re: Tunisia, sharia, and the varying independence of Muslim countries from Islamic law.

"1. Voorhoeve, Maaike. "Sharia and National Law in Tunisia" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Hilton Bonaventure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 27, 2008 Online

The  complete abstract (with full paper downloadable) is here:

http://www.allacademic.com/one/www/www/index.php?cmd=www_search&offset=0...

 

Ze

mahmud wrote:

What I find frightening, sanizadeh, is when progressive Muslims argue that sharia is archaic -I don't disagree- but also argue that any (ijtihaad) effort to bring it up to date will render it a non-sharia and thus un-Islamic. 

Just wanted to say thanks for that insight, as someone who at this stage is simply reading along and learning from both of you in this discussion. 

remind remind's picture

Ditto

Maysie Maysie's picture

Thread title changed at Ze's request.

mahmud

Ze & Remind: You are welcome. I am glad the discussion is being informative. Thank

Contratrianna: Thank you for the link. It is at first glance at the heart of the topic. I will relocate my password for the e-library of the town's university and look at the full text.

Sanizadeh: I would say that the "What Mohammed would do today" is the guiding principle of the Tunisian model. As for you challenging me to provide reference that stoning is not in the QUr'an or Sunna, I am bewildered by your request that I provide something that I am arguing does not exist. Woudn't it be more "practical" for you to provide that it exists in Qur'an or Sharia. In the later case, other than Mohamed saying that Islam is a continuation of the Judeo-Christian tradition to which I would say "In that case  pork, alcohol, gambling and interest are also 'islamic'". Which is preposterous.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Coincidentally, the [url=http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/10/indonesia/finkel-text]current issue of National Geographic[/url] magazine has an article on Islam in Indonesia. I'd be happy to hear what our resident Muslim experts have to say about it.

Here's an excerpt:

Quote:

The province of Aceh, on the western prow of the Indonesian archipelago, is now perhaps best known for suffering a direct strike from the December 2004 tsunami, which killed more than 160,000 Indonesians. But for centuries, the Aceh region has been recognized as one of the most devout Muslim areas in all of Asia. Aceh's unofficial slogan is that it is the "veranda of Mecca," and many of its residents seem to sit on this porch with their backs to the rest of Indonesia, embracing an Islam closer to that which exists across the ocean on the Arabian Peninsula. Here, more than anywhere else in the islands, people observe a strict Islamic code of conduct. In 1999 the national government paved the way for Aceh to become the nation's first province to establish sharia as criminal law.

Devi Faradila is a fashionable, 35-year-old mother of two and a parliamentarian in Aceh Province. At the time of my visit, she was the leader of the all-women's unit of the Banda Aceh Sharia Patrol, a municipal force in charge of monitoring compliance with local rules in the province's capital. On a typical Friday-a day, according to Aceh law, when all Muslim men must attend mosque-Faradila readied her unit for duty, breaking up a Ping-Pong game in the station house, wagging her finger at a couple of text messaging officers.

Faradila and 13 patrollers donned black baseball caps to complete their uniforms-black shoes, black slacks, black blouses, and lime green head scarves-and piled into a pickup equipped with loudspeakers. Faradila, in the driver's seat, pulled on leather gloves, added a fresh coat of lipstick, and put on mirrored sunglasses. Her deputy hopped in beside her. The rest of the women sat in the bed of the pickup.

The truck moved slowly through the city, Faradila blasting a constant stream of announcements over the speakers. "Hurry up, men! Friday prayers are about to begin." "Stop all activities. It's time to pray." Men on the streets or in shops-a carpet seller, a furniture maker, a fruit vendor, a bricklayer-turned their heads and stared. A few checked their watches. "Today is Friday. It is obligatory for men to pray."

Aceh is the only Indonesian province with a sharia patrol unit; a total of 800 officers, mostly men, police the region day and night. But at midday on Fridays, the Muslim Sabbath, sharia enforcement is left to the women, who can pray at home. Faradila wove the truck around the massive five-domed mosque at the city center, then toward the shoreline, which was both gorgeous, with mountains rising green from the sea, and haunting-giant swaths turned to swampland by the tsunami. One officer in back spotted a teenage girl strolling down a sidewalk with no head scarf, a reckless act in a city where virtually every Muslim woman is covered. The truck immediately screeched to a halt. "Veil! Veil! Veil!" the officers shouted. The girl looked aghast. She indicated in pantomime that she would put a covering on, and the truck drove off.

As prayer time grew near, Faradila's pleas became less polite. "Close your shop!" "Find the nearest mosque!" The truck pulled over in front of a dilapidated two-story building, a fish market and artists' studio, a known place for drinkers. The team leaped out of the truck-half Charlie's Angels, half Taliban. Two men were swiftly nabbed. They were fishsellers, they said, and smelled too bad to attend a crowded mosque. The women issued them citations anyway.

A widely distributed booklet, A Brief Look at Sharia Islam in Aceh-the cover shows a man being whipped-outlines the rules. If you're caught gambling: six to 12 lashes. Improperly mingling with the opposite sex: three to nine lashes. Drinking alcohol: 40 lashes. Skipping prayer on three consecutive Fridays: three lashes. The whip, according to the booklet, must be made of rattan a quarter to a third of an inch thick. At the Banda Aceh Sharia Patrol station, two whips were on display, each as long as a cane and as snappy as a flyswatter. There was a photo album filled with images of the whippings; more than a hundred have taken place since 2005. The man who administers them wears a maroon robe, white gloves, and a face-covering hood. The crowds are enormous.

Polls indicate that, although most Indonesians say they want sharia as the foundation of public life, they are uneasy about the imposition of such corporal punishments. Outside of Aceh, adoption of religious-based regulations has been piecemeal, with some districts prohibiting gambling or drinking, or requiring women to wear veils. Yet these rules have often been enacted by secular politicians who see Islamic regulations as a way to curry favor with their pious constituents or distract attention from ongoing corruption. In the future, experts say, playing the "Islam card" may not have the populist force it did just three or four years ago.

Except, perhaps, in Aceh, which appears to be ratcheting up its Islamization and has even considered implementing the surgical severing of hands in accordance with the Koran's punishment for theft. That would be fine with Faradila. Sharia law, she insisted, has made Banda Aceh more reverent and much safer. She'd like to see an expansion of the laws. "Cutting hands," she said, "in the correct circumstances, would serve as a lesson to others. Crime would be greatly reduced." Stoning for adulterers would also be fine. "When you embrace Islam," she said, "you have to embrace all the laws."

(emphasis added)

It appears that as of the date of that interview, stoning for adulterers was not part of the law.

mahmud

The Aceh province has a glorious cultural history of being the centre of propagation of Shia Islam to other Indonesian provinces, in predominantly Sunni Indonesia. The are about 1 million Shia Muslims to the 210 million inhabitants of Indonesia. I adventure to speculate that nostagia for a glorious past, geo-politcal manipulation games (Iran?) and "minority" status led to this want for adoption of sharia. But again, who am I to judge if -as it seems- the people want it and women are willing to enforce it. This particularly since there is no mention of stoning, beheading and such atrocities other than the passing remark of the interviewed in the article. But scary if one thinks that we are to witness the birth of a littele Iran in Indonesia.

I mentioned Iran, but Saudi Arabia is not crossing its hands when it comes to stirring the pot for its brand of Wahhabi Islam (marginal offshoot of Sunni Islam and so far limited to SA).  

Ze

I'm no Muslim expert, but I'm familiar with recent Acehnese history. My reaction is that the Geographic is (as they often do) reflecting and reinforcing staereotypes in that excerpt. Cherry-picking "informants" isn't really vidence for anything other than the writer's choices, is it?

Stoning is not yet law in Aceh. The lame-duck parliament has passed such a law , but the governor and especially the vice-governor are trying to delay enactment. However, they lack the power to do so indefinitely. So no it is not yet law, the issue is currently being fought hard among Acehnese. the OP links to one side of the debate (Aguswandi is an Achenese NGO activist).

It's notoriously hard to gauge what "the people" of any place "want." However, there seems little popular support for enhanced punishment for crimes against syariah. Acehnese recently voted to sweep out the current parliament in an election won by the Aceh Party, based on civil society groups that oppose stronger punishment-based law. Imagine the Liberals winning an election in Canada, and the Conservative parliaemnt remaining in session to legislate tougher penalties for dope posession. Would that mean Canadians wanted tougher penalties?

More broadly, I'd say syariah is a marker of Acehnese difference from the rest of Indonesia, seen as lax "statistical Muslims" but that interpretations of what shariah law actually means are disputed. Most Muslims in Indoneisa want Islam-inspired laws, but they sure diasgree on what that would mean in practice. What we're seeing now, in view, echoes the Wahhabi-inspired groups in 19th C Indonesia who wanted to return to "fudamentals" and (for instance) whip those whose Islam is seen as more lax. I personally think that certain groups in Aceh are forcing their idea of religion on an unwilling majority, and imposing a law code that is counter to the wishes of the majority, the rights of the minority, and basic justice.

Polunatic2

I'm opposed to stoning, other forms of capital punishment and lashing people who miss religious services. I presume that everyone else on babble is too. 

Stargazer

Well yes, I think any progressive people should be.