Citizens’ Arrest

Mar 17th, 2007, in IM Posts, by

Citizens of Aceh are starting to enforce sharia laws by themselves.

People in various villages of Aceh have begun to take upon themselves the job of enforcing Islamic law in a complete way, it is said. For example, in the area of Lampoh Daya in Banda Aceh on the 8th of March dozens of young men surprised two unmarried couples who were thought to be engaged in lustful behaviour in a quiet corner of the village.

Then again in Cot Leuet, Blang Bintang, Aceh Besar, on the 11th, residents raided a house and found another couple up to no good. The village head, Hasyim Ahmad, says people had noticed a man, who as it turns out is a policeman, going into the house often. The house was occupied by a mother of one child, and the man waited until the woman's husband and child were no longer at home before visiting.

The head of the Sharia office of the Banda Aceh government, Natsir Ilyas, says he supports the people's efforts to rid the province of sin but that they shouldn't go over the top and act and judge and jury. Natsir says those caught in citizens' arrests should be handed over to the relevant authorities. [1]


52 Comments on “Citizens’ Arrest”

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  1. avatar Madesh says:
    March 17th, 2007 at 6:04 am

    Is there any legitimate government in Aceh?

  2. avatar 1ndra says:
    March 17th, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Whether there is sharia or not, most people in Javanese also do inform on people who commit adultery.

  3. avatar Colson says:
    March 17th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    How crazy you can get? Raiding people’s privacy because of crimes like “committing” adultery or some sound petting and necking. In a decent society the raiding itself would have been looked upon as criminal.

  4. avatar Ari says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 3:24 am

    Whether there is sharia or not, most people in Javanese also do inform on people who commit
    adultery.

    And whom do they inform? Local goverment?

  5. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 3:32 am

    It seems that the people are still lacking somewhat in being able to prioritise crimes and criminality. Why don’t they arrest the real criminals in Aceh, the corruptors and cheats in government, the drug growers etc? or could it be that these people are in the employ of some of the big criminals and are being used as pawns in a game of distraction?

    Peace

  6. avatar Bas says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 3:49 am

    How crazy you can get? Raiding people’s privacy because of crimes like “committing” adultery or some sound petting and necking. In a decent society the raiding itself would have been looked upon as criminal.

    You got it. I have raid while watching TV with my fiance. Most of my occidental friends have been raided too by the way. It’s always nice to hear you have no morality, you are a shame for your university blablabla by people cheating their wife and corrupting money on a daily basis.. Has I said in a previous post. In this country what’s wrong is right and what’s right is wrong.

    Shariah is just a tool used by the Indonesian poorly educated people to do what they love the most: killing. I can’t count how many times I have seen people get killed by the crow in the streets of Jakarta or Depok. Most of the time for minor offenses wich barely deserved a few weeks of jail. Sometimes for no reason. Just because someone shout “copet”. With the help of Shariah those people can now kill who they want more easily. That’s good.

  7. avatar Hassan says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Bas: Actually there’s nothing in Sharia that says pickpockets (copet) should be killed. It’s actually quite contradictive when you associate such an act of lawless vendetta (killing pickpockets) with Sharia, which is a law.

    I think you’re just another one of those people who liked to blame Sharia for everything that went wrong in Indonesia. The problem is you don’t even understand what Sharia is. One thing for sure, Sharia didn’t tell people to kill pickpockets.

    Bas, the fact is those things you mentioned in the last paragraph (the killing thing) happened when Indonesia is under a secular law and not Sharia law, that you cannot deny. The murders you see daily on TV (Buser, Patroli, etc.) happened when Indonesia is practicing secular law.

    The fact is, nowadays secular laws are not working in Indonesia, the laws seemed to grant immunity to people with money (at least that’s how the poor people viewed it), so the people less favored by the law then decided to take matters to their own hands to make sure that ‘justice’ is served. It’s WRONG, but that’s the cold hard facts of life in Indonesia.

    You said, “With the help of Shariah those people can now kill who they want more easily.”

    Correction, under Sharia those people who killed that pickpocket will also be punished accordingly. Indonesian secular law however, seemed to ignore these kind of things.

  8. avatar Oigal says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 10:24 am

    “most people in Javanese also do inform on people who commit adultery.”

    Interesting are you saying most people in Javanese (sic) are peeping toms who hide in bedroom cupboards (if they are not then how the hell do they know what people are doing). Sounds like they need a few truckloads of Playboy so they can excite themselves in private, and stop annoying others.

  9. avatar 1ndra says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    And whom do they inform? Local goverment?

    Don’t you read newspapers? And don’t you know what they do?

  10. avatar Robert says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Hassan,

    The murders you see daily on TV (Buser, Patroli, etc.) happened when Indonesia is practicing secular law.

    Laws themselves don’t change people’s behaviour and laws certainly don’t work by themselves. That’s the job of law enforcement officers, they should arrest the people who step beyond the boundaries of what is allowed (stealing, killing etc). They should acquire a more pro-active approach. And if they don’t their job they should be dealt with, in stead of getting a new law with the same lousy law enforcement. It happens often, that laws are being changed while the real problems lies within the law enforcement, and the effect of law change is zero to nothing.

    Correction, under Sharia those people who killed that pickpocket will also be punished accordingly. Indonesian secular law however, seemed to ignore these kind of things.

    I don’t buy your argument that Indonesian (secular) criminal law allows pickpockets to be killed. If so, tell me which law article does. And why would Sharia law have a better succes rate?

    So, the emphasis should be on law enforcement and NOT on law itself.

  11. avatar Ari says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Don’t you read newspapers? And don’t you know what they do?

    No, in fact. I live in Russia.

  12. avatar Robert says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    The people mentioned in the article have a nothing to do with law or law enforcement, they are just a bunch of perverts getting off by spying on other people. It is typical that the “law enforcement” they are exerting is sex related. It would be better if they were that active with fighting corruption, poverty, lack of housing and other social abuses instead of indulging in their peeping-tom activities.

  13. avatar Cukurungan says:
    March 18th, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Bas,

    Have you tried the happy menu, I suggested to you in the previous post.

    Are you Indonesian or a poor bule was trying to make fortune here but you found only misfortune?

    If this country and its people already made you so sick why you ‘re still live here. I think there are many a good country outside there where you can petting, necking with whoever you like without being raided by your neighbors.

    In Malang city’s area where no sharia in place the punishment to whom committ aldultery are more severe and embarrassing sometimes the misfortune couple were displayed on the streets and the last years a misfortune couple were forced to make “adegan ulang” witnessed by crowd. In this case, what do you want to blame a sharia law? wake-up sir don’t get drunk around the clock.

    A sharia law is similar with a death it will come to here whether you like it or not.

  14. avatar Andrew says:
    March 19th, 2007 at 4:45 am

    In Malang city’s area where no sharia in place the punishment to whom committ aldultery are more severe and embarrassing sometimes the misfortune couple were displayed on the streets and the last years a misfortune couple were forced to make “adegan ulang” witnessed by crowd. In this case, what do you want to blame a sharia law? wake-up sir don’t get drunk around the clock.

    Cuk, what happened there has nothing to do with sharia’s strength or non-sharia’s weakness. Can’t you distinguish between good law enforcement and barbaric trial-by mob? it simply shows that our law enforcement is incompetent. Think of it as your country going awry because of people like them – and maybe like you.

    Well, what can I say, you’re one of those people who wants your country to regress 700 years. You don’t care about anything else, all you care about is turn your country into a medieval country do you?

    ———————-

    3 poor kids grew up together. All were from poor and troubled families.
    Kid #1 is intelligent and diligent, and finally succeeded in the area of science and technology.
    Kid #2 was off to a slow start, but caught up quickly and became rich – not to mention that he is very adept in technology as well.
    Both kid #1 and #2 grew up to be prominent and well respected individuals.

    Kid #3 almost made it, but suddenly decided to close his eyes and his mind to the outside world, and thought that being an idiot was much better. He succeeded as well… to remain poor, backwards and stupid.

    India is Kid #1, China is #2.
    And #3? your beloved Indonesia

  15. avatar Ihaknt says:
    March 19th, 2007 at 7:02 am

    What Indos commonly do is to humiliate others and exploit mistakes so their own mistakes and ‘secrets’ (hopefully) will not come out in the open. It’s a decoy to cover their own arse. I am sure those people who report other people are not flawless nor suci either.

  16. avatar Cukurungan says:
    March 20th, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Andrew,

    Many thanks for your advice even I never met with you, I believe you’re a good guy.

    But you exaggerated our achievement, we almost made nothing except the corrupt system needs to be reset or undone.

    Btw, we won’t necessary to follow China or India paths because the tragedy behind their success stories are guite painful to their people. Look at their coal mine accident, see how million poor peoples condition in mumbai or other india big cities and the dangereous waste in the livehood of the poor and so on.

    What we need to do just “Kill Corruption” simple words but no Indonesia President dared to take the risks. Once this disease can be cured then every good thing would flourish by themself.

    thanks,

  17. avatar Hassan says:
    March 20th, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Andrew: You said to Cuk, “Well, what can I say, you’re one of those people who wants your country to regress 700 years. You don’t care about anything else, all you care about is turn your country into a medieval country do you?”

    I consider you as one of the more moderate, tolerant, fair, and well-informed commenters here. But your views which I quoted, showed a distinct lack of tolerance and understanding. Sharia is an Islamic teaching, if the Quran is the holy scripture, then Sharia is the way to implement the Quran on a Muslim’s daily life. Sharia is the prescribed Islamic way of life, on a personal basis and on a communal sense which includes the law a Muslim should follow.

    I know people like Mohammed Khafi will debate that fact, but then again that will depend on their stance regarding the Quran and Hadith (especially the Hadith).

    Now, how would you feel when someone litterally said that the teachings and laws of your religion will bring humanity backwards? When your religion’s teachings were insulted as something that will bring a civilization back to the middle ages? Have you conducted a thorough scientific study that can prove once and for all that Sharia (or any other religious law from any religion, for that matter) is bad for humanity?

    Besides, our KUHP is actually a man made colonial age product created by imperialists bent on controlling (if not manipulating) the local populace for their own benefits. The Dutch certainly didn’t create it for the good of the locals (Indonesians) in mind.

    Robert: I agree with you, the problem lies in the almost non-existant law enforcement in Indonesia, not just the laws themselves. I just wanted to look at it from a different perspective, for me : poverty + weak law enforcement + Indonesian’s mentality + corrupt bureaucracy + secularism (as in the absence of spirituality in conducting national affairs, plus the fact that it is a man made system which should not be prioritized over God’s) = disaster.

    For me, if Sharia were to be implemented, it will encourage people to live their lives according to what their Creator had intended (on an Islamic perspective at least. hey, almost 90% of Indonesians ARE Muslims), hence it will gradually improve Indonesian’s mentality, and will reduce corruption significantly. After all, which corrupter would want their hands cut off? And of course, religious people are less susceptible to all kinds of bribe and criminal acts, a major desease in Indonesian society.

  18. avatar pj_bali says:
    March 20th, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Hassan

    Exactly how will sharia improve peoples lives? There are examples of sharia today in in Saudi Arabia Iran and Afganistan. Are peoples lives better there than here? How exactly will peoples mentality improve under Sharia law? They may improve their ability to memorize the Koran but will it really improve their ability to think objectively and rationally? Thinking objectively requires free and open discussion – this seems to be missing from most of the countries that follow Sharia law? How much of a free press do you see in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or even Egypt? I would contend that the main beneficiaries of sharia law will be the imams and clerics who will stifle all opposition to criticism with the simple words “he/she was insulting islam” or “he/she was an apostate”. I would also contend that if sharia law were implemented here the corporal punishments (the friday afternoon public amputaions/canings beheadings, stonings etc…) would mostly be applied to poor people as opposed to the rich corruptor- after all we all know in Indonesia that the rich corruptor will never see the court but the guy who steals a chicken is usually lucky to be caught by the police (as opposed to the mob). Finally I would contend your view that religious people are less susceptable to bribe/corruption. Wasn’t it you who mentioned that the religious ministry is the most corrupt group in Indonesia? Your proposal to enact sharia law would see this corrupt lot running the place with no public responsibility. After all these guys would be responible to God, not their constituents. Eradication of corruption requires some form of responsible government and few countries currently using sharia law feels obliged to be responsible to their own people.

    Regards

  19. avatar Hassan says:
    March 20th, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    pj_bali: You seemed to mix up religion and culture. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt are not known as world powers before they adopt Sharia, Sharia will not add to their powers and culture over night. Sharia will improve their spirituality and gradually, their culture. You must remember that a nation’s culture is not based on religion alone.

    “Thinking objectively requires free and open discussion – this seems to be missing from most of the countries that follow Sharia law? How much of a free press do you see in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or even Egypt?”

    This time you mix religion with politics. Again, those regimes authoritarian approach had nothing to do with Islam or Sharia, as Islam and Sharia never prescribed those kind of governmental attitude. Their dictatorship-like attitude came from the monarchy they practiced (Saudi) – courtesy of their British ex-colonializer-, and the tendency of their western puppet government in preserving their power (Egypt). As for Iran, I don’t know about the Islam they practised, as the Shia is a whole different sect. A trinitarian Christian will never understand why unitarians do things like they did, for example. Afghan? I doubt they still practice Sharia there, dear Uncle Sam had given them man-made laws instead.

    “I would also contend that if sharia law were implemented here the corporal punishments (the friday afternoon public amputaions/canings beheadings, stonings etc”¦) would mostly be applied to poor people as opposed to the rich corruptor”

    The exact same things happened in Indonesia with it’s secular law. Hence, the problem is not the law, but the law enforcement (as Robert and myself had discussed before).

    “Wasn’t it you who mentioned that the religious ministry is the most corrupt group in Indonesia?”

    True. And it’s also myself who had said several times that Indonesians are not really religious. I reckon only about 20-30% max of Indonesians are devout and practicing followers of their respective religions. The rest are ‘abangans’ (non-practicing) and people who would like to project the image that they are religious (hypocrits).

    “Your proposal to enact sharia law would see this corrupt lot running the place with no public responsibility. After all these guys would be responible to God, not their constituents.”

    Secular Indonesia had a system of public resposibility long ago, and guess what? Ever since our independence our corrupt leaders had fooled the public and stole their money. The public can be fooled, God cannot. I truly religious person will know and feel that God sees his/her every action, and that is the most powerful deterrent from committing any crime. Certainly much more powerful than SBY’s (or any other post-Soeharto presidents) system of accountability.

    Lastly, please don’t judge Islam based on the condition in which present Muslims are currently suffering. Muslims are in a state of decline, we are not practicing Islam correctly to it’s fullest extent, and we didn’t have a single authoritative figure (like the Caliph, or the Pope in Catholicism). It wouldn’t be fair to judge Christianity when their followers are entrenched in the dark middle ages, for example.

    As for why we are currently culturally more backward compared to the West, partly of our own fault and partly because God will roster cultural advancements and powers between civilizations. Greeks, Romans, Islam, Europeans, and now Americans. One guarantee, none will last forever.

  20. avatar Robert says:
    March 20th, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Hassan,

    I agree with you that are more factors contributing to the present situation in Indonesia than only the weak law enforcement. I do have some questions concerning you remarks.

    If 90% of the Indonesians are already Muslim, what is preventing them from behaving like good Muslims in the first place? Why do they need encouragement? Is Sharia law necessary to bring the Indonesians back on the track?
    You mention religious people are less susceptible to all kinds of bribe and criminal acts. That would mean that many people are not true Muslims, as corruption is so widespread in Indonesian society.

    You see secularism as being one of the factors. Can you be more specific? I think there are plenty of (national) matters where common sense is the right tool instead of religion. Just for example, the flood problem in Jakarta can be solved by engineers, the shortage of rice by agricultural experts, etc.
    And what about a country like Turkey? This is a secular state where 95% of the population is Muslim. There lot of things seem to work better than in Indonesia (law enforcement, economy, education, religion, etc).

    Weak law-enforcement is more the result of mentality and corruption, than a factor by itself. If policemen would stop stuffing their own wallets and get rid of their of religion-colored agenda things might change. The best example of the latter is, when a mob attacks a house of worship, and the police fails to interfere.

    Suppose Sharia-based law would be introduced you would have to eradicate corruption at the police and courts first. Who would judge the corrupt judges?
    And what about Non-Muslims? Would they also be subjected to Sharia-based law? Who will guarantee and safeguard their interests? Now their interests are covered by the Pancasila, will Sharia-based do that too?
    I don’t think the introduction of Sharia-based law will be accepted without striking a blow. It may cause a lot of social unrest and spark interreligious violence and the result will be a lot of bloodshedding. And in the end, even the country might be endangered as a unitary and multicultural state.

    And if you want to cut-off corrupters hands , well you can put that in existing law as well, you don’t need Sharia for that. Indonesia already has capital punishment, so corporal punishments shouldn’t be that difficult to introduce into Criminal Law, if desired.
    Keep in mind that when Sharia is introduced it won’t be the love or respect for the great Creator that will keep the Indonesians on the straight path, but it will be the fear of the henchman.

  21. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:
    March 20th, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Hassan: Although I agree with you that Indonesia is very corrupted, I still do not see how shariah law can achieve what you envisioned. One only has to look at the lack of humanistic values and human conscience of Islamic countries implementing such law. A thorough scientistfic studies is a waste of time and resource when you have Taliban Afghanistan as example. Wasn’t it a pure Islamic state, and you reckon that is good for Indonesia?

    Time and again, Muslims like to bring up the evil deeds of the west in defence of their current plight and destitution. Yes, the west have enslaved and taken advantage of us in the past. But why can’t we move on? If we are smart enough like the Chineses and Indians, instead of wrapped-up in spite and ill-will, we learn, observe and improve. It is dumb to forget but why can’t we forgive. These are the mind of mature civilised Asian race, from which our original heritage are part of. Instead Muslims retreated to a corner feeling plundered, vengeful and expect to be hand fed for all the sufferings done to them. With this kind of mentality, Muslims will forever be trapped in a cycle of poverty and laziness.

  22. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    March 20th, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Hassan Said:

    Sharia is an Islamic teaching, if the Quran is the holy scripture, then Sharia is the way to implement the Quran on a Muslim’s daily life.

    One of the Islamic Teachings in Al Quran is:

    Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” 2:256

    This verse is very simple and very straightforward and does not require explanation, yet most Sunnah and Hadith followers either do not know it exists or they choose to ignore it.

    As soon as you implement Sharia, you are compelling people in their religious affairs, quite in contradiction to this verse from al Quran!

    As I have stated before, if you wish to follow Sharia as you see it, you are quite welcome to do so, as I myself follow Allah’s teachings in Al Quran as I understand them, however as is clearly stated by Allah, you cannot compel others to do the same.

    Peace

  23. avatar Rambutan says:
    March 21st, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Have you conducted a thorough scientific study that can prove once and for all that Sharia (or any other religious law from any religion, for that matter) is bad for humanity?

    We could reverse the question and ask you to give us an example of any country that has introduced syariah and actually benefited from it.

  24. avatar Cukurungan says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Rambutan,

    Here clear example :

    More than 2 millions of UAE citizens has been living peacefully with foreigners from different religion around the globe while now more than 2 million of US citizens are living behind the bars. Now US retained a title as the world’s most prison-crazy nation.

    Might you should ask to CEO Halliburton why they moved their headquarters to a state with sharia law in place.

    thanks,
    Dirty Moslem

  25. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Cuk,

    Halliburton are one of the most corrupt companies doing business worldwide, you only need to look at Dick Cheny in the Whitehouse and the contracts awarded to Halliburton during the run up to the Iraqi War! For more information look here: Halliburton Watch.

    They could have moved for this:

    The actual reason Halliburton and its chairman David Lesar are moving their corporate digs to Dubai is that the UAE’s lax laws on corporate record keeping and the opaqueness of business transactions in the emirates will allow the firm to avoid responding to congressional subpoenas for its scandalous war profiteering in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations. A source with extensive ties in Dubai also reports that after leaving office, Dick Cheney will be spending “a lot of time in Dubai”. WMR was told that Cheney will likely start looking for property in the emirate — there are a number of highly-secured gated communities springing up in Dubai, which is fast becoming the “Hong Kong” of the Middle East.

    Halliburton will also be able to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes as a UAE-headquartered corporation.

    Of course they could have moved there for all the Free Sex, well not free but you know what I mean: Dubai Prostitution. Or maybe the Clubs and Nightlife.

    So much for the benefits of Sharia Law heh?

    Peace

  26. avatar Cukurungan says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Khafi,

    You must be kidding how come the good western system could become a breeding ground a giant corrupt company’s, the Halliburton must be very clean and clear company even the previous CEO of this companies “Mr Cheney” is a very good gentleman with high concern to humanity and democracy. He even willing to sacrifice the american souls and spending billion Dollars to “help iraqis “you believe me if don’t please ask American voters.

    thanks

  27. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Cuk,

    So you already knew why Halliburton had moved?

    There is a saying in the West “Birds of a feather flock together” or “Ada gula ada semut”

    Peace

  28. avatar Cukurungan says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Khafi,

    So you agreed “sharia law” in the Arabic gulf state were successfully flourishing “gula” for benefiting of mankind no matter their religion.

    thanks,

  29. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Cuk please be realistic! I am suggesting that even after centuries of Sharia Law, things in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia are not what they seem to be on the surface. Sharia has not worked there or anywhere else for that matter, and never will do.

    Peace

  30. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    I am in favour of capital punishment for serious crimes such as murder, rape and pedophilia, but certainly not to be done in public square.

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