Gestapo Tactics & Interrogation

Jan 5th, 2009, in IM Posts, Opinion, by

Ross rails that Gestapo style methods of interrogation are used by the sharia police in Aceh.

Editor's Note - this post was written on 30th December 2008.

Gestapo Interrogations in Aceh

Not much of 2008 left, but even up through the year's dying days, goat-bearded Islamonazis managed to bring their religion into further disrepute.

This, my final rail before Hogmanay, refers to last week's Jakarta Post report on the arrest of two teachers in Aceh - their "offence"? An invitation to some Muslim youngsters to share seasonal goodwill at a Christmas party!

In Meulaboh, West Aceh, two teachers were questioned by the sharia police for allegedly proselytizing their Muslim students by inviting them to a Christmas celebration at their homes.

The teachers were later allowed to return to their hometowns in neighboring North Sumatra to celebrate Christmas with their families.

Please don't exculpate the goons by telling me this "sinister" pair were let off with a serious talking to and then released - I'm sure Russians in the dark age between 1917 and 1989 who got taken to Lubianka and let off with a warning did not take many risks thereafter. Similarly if you were made to listen to a minatory sermon from the Gestapo in Germany between 1933 and 1945.

Such police state "interrogation only" tactics are likely to be just as effective a tool of oppression as an actual beating, especially in a benighted Islamist dump where beatings for trivial pursuits (and I suppose the death penalty for conscientious rejection of the offending faith?) are part of what passes for a legal system. Only the boldest guru will dare chance such ecumenical courtesy again.

Having from my earliest months in Indonesia admired Achenese determination to stand up against a bullying regime down south that denied their right to self-determination (this sympathy of mine being explained by my own ethnic origins, and given fictional form in my "Red-Handed in Aceh") I had hoped that on attaining a measure of freedom in its ethnic sense, the provincial authorities might extend the concept to permit individual and in particular religious freedom within their scope of control.

Instead, the "sharia police" continue to stomp on both common sense and common decency. Cowardly masked bigots administer legal whippings on courting teenagers and card-playing working men for doing what they do in every non-demented country, and now there is even talk of segregating tourists on a bikini beach, lest the sight of bule navels provoke devout Muslims to frenzies of lust. Talk about lunatics running the asylum.

I had imagined that Jakarta's adherence to such documents as the UN Charter, or more recently the impressive ASEAN declaration on democracy, might have had some actual meaning, other than for big-wigs to strut their stuff on the international stage. But evidently not.

To the oppressed people of Aceh, and to all readers, may the New Year bring something better than what they have at present.

P.S. I see various dedicated Islamists are volunteering to go to Palestine and fight the Israeli military - can we hope that the FPI, who proved their martial valour at the Battle of Monas, easily defeating outnumbered women and children, and that Islamic Solidarity Group, who heroically routed non-violent Ahmadiyah villagers, will go forth to do their bit. We'd soon see the elimination - bloodily - of much of Indonesia's street thuggery problem.


12 Comments on “Gestapo Tactics & Interrogation”

  1. avatar David says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    In Meulaboh, West Aceh, two teachers were questioned by the sharia police for allegedly proselytizing their Muslim students by inviting them to a Christmas celebration at their homes.

    Another funny story from Aceh…. Ross, you’re a believer in (cough) democracy aren’t you? I’m guessing if you put it to a vote up there you’d have a majority in favour of sharia. Even the governor of Aceh, an ex GAM man, has the attitude that if it’s from religion, it’s gotta be good, and it can’t be bad.

  2. avatar Ross says:
    January 7th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Yes, I can see why one must cough before using ‘democracy’ in debating this country.
    I do believe in democratic practice and if the majority are benighted Islamists, then one is up a gum-tree (or GAM-tree) – yet Indonesia is signatory to things like the UN and ASEAN Declarations, with which sharia police and bans on Ahmadiyah are hardly consonant. Having one’s cake and eating it…a significant aspect of the ‘world’s largest Muslim democracy.’

    Don’t get me wrong – I rail about Indonesia because I live here and wish to do so forever – well, at least till I’m dead – but if I lived in any of my Western havens, I’d be railing too, against the decline of democracy there.

  3. avatar Oigal says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Hmmm…One assumes then Ross, that democracy to you applies only those players who agree with your “perspective” of what is right and correct..people who wish sharia and heaven forbid communists need not apply….

    Having said that, I agree that its time that the government started defending the basic principles of democracy instead of bowing down to thugs and bullies time and again. I just find it bizarre that Ross can rail against the excesses of the Sharia thugs but wave the tattered flag of freedom in support of the excesses and slaughter in suppressing his personal bogey man of communism.

    Sorry Ross you would not be my first pick as a defender of the free..

  4. avatar ET says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Ross said

    Yes, I can see why one must cough before using ‘democracy’ in debating this country.

    I for me am beginning to see why one must cough before using ‘democracy’ in debating democracy itself.

    Is democracy to be the rule of the majority of voters, regardless of their educational background and the degree of manipulation by those who claim to speak on behalf of a ‘higher’ authority? Or should this ‘majority rules’ system be mitigated by control mechanisms which allow for reason, experience and common sense to interfere, eventually by the veto right of an established aristocracy or oligarchy?
    It’s a slippery terrain. Sukarno has tried it with his ‘guided democracy’ but even this well-meant and realistic approach had been hijacked by those with their own selfish agenda of lining their pockets and perpetuation of power. Simply transplant a Western styled 2-chamber parliamentary democracy in a country with a totally different historical and cultural backgound also won’t do the trick, at least not in the near future before education and social development have had a chance to take root like in Japan.

    Before making conclusions about the future of Indonesian democracy maybe it’s worth waiting for post-Mao China to prove how their system develops itself in an Asian context. If I’m not mistaken wapres Y. Kalla has had similar thoughts and for once he could be talking sense.

  5. avatar Oigal says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    If I’m not mistaken wapres Y. Kalla has had similar thoughts and for once he could be talking sense If that be the case then it could only be a different take on the thousand monkeys and thousand typewriters over a thousand years theory.

    Not only is it slippery slope, its a scary one…Born to rule, born to vote..A dictatorship by any other name.

    I have aways found it to be the very saddest and silliest statement that is oft made the so called “asian way” as if there is some sort of collective culture aqnd way of thinking.

  6. avatar Ross says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    The problem is, Oigal, is that Indonesia purports to be a democracy and has signed up to various conventions etc., which require it to act accordingly, but SBY does not enforce these democratic obligations on the goat-beards. Instead he allows them to flout the principles his government has formally subscribed to.

    As to communists, we have been along this detour before.
    Is it wise to ban organisations that aim to destroy your country? The Germans ban the Nazi Party and Italy bans the Fascist Party. Canada banned the Communist Party briefly, as did Greece and Germany after the Second World War.

    Or should they allow them to operate as if they are normal parties, thus keeping them in the public eye?
    I tend towards the latter option, but I come from a fairly stable democratic country. Could a Third World state take the risk?

    Hard to say- any voter who reads history knows that communists are intrinsically evil but how many people read history?
    ,

  7. avatar David says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Those who have coughing fits before uttering the word ‘democracy’ might like to read this.

  8. avatar PrimaryDrive says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Democracy is both a goal and a tool. As a goal, it would be very nice to have it. As a tool, well … the effectiveness of any tool also depends much on the wisdom of its wielder. It is naive to think that low educated peasants and factory workers, which form the majority of Indonesian people, Aceh included, know how to properly use their democracy tool. So, they vote blindly for the nearest clerics, naively assuming those that can preach like hell know how to run a province. Well, can you blame them??

    Of course all these Shariah madness can be stopped. All that people need to do is to vote wisely. They have that power now. Unfortunately, they can’t because they wisdom can’t yet see beyond the border of their mosques.

    This is all very sad for Indonesia’s 20% minorities. The day democracy came to Indonesia, may just as well the beginning of the dark age of these minorities. Against 80% majority, these minorities lose any political sigfinicance. Their rights and existence now depend on the ‘kindness’ and the ‘open mindedness’ of the other 80%. I used to think that my rights were cemented in the Constitution … but that was many years ago, when I still believed.

  9. avatar dragonwall says:
    January 10th, 2009 at 6:31 am

    I THINK THE SMALL BLUE PILL (VIAGRA) IS GOOD FOR COUGH

  10. avatar dragonwall says:
    January 10th, 2009 at 6:34 am

    How about suggesting the 20% gets 80% voting rights and 80% gets 20% voting rights.

    I guess, with people that pay for the bill to be passed, it is kind of a difficult, don’t you think so.

  11. avatar Burung Koel says:
    January 10th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    When I was in Aceh a few years ago, a foreign aid worker was caught in his car with a local woman one evening near the beach. During his subsequent court case, he used the defence that they weren’t up to anything sordid, but were merely ‘discussing the peace process’.

    Naturally, ‘discussing the peace process’ then became a very handy euphemism.

  12. avatar Oigal says:
    January 10th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Indonesia purports to be a democracy and has signed up to various conventions etc., which require it to act accordingly, but SBY does not enforce these democratic obligations on the goat-beards. Instead he allows them to flout the principles his government has formally subscribed to.

    In fact, Ross I agree with you..not sure what system you would call Indonesia but it is not democracy! One could perhaps hope it may one day morph into one, but that would take a pretty sharp turn around in both the ‘leaders’ and more importantly the sad excuse for free press in this nation rather than the inane and pliant examples we currently endure.

    As for the your latter point, a free and aggressive free press would expose the ‘goat beards’ and communists etc for what they are and therefore not to be feared as the light of days quickly exposes their inherent failures. You may have point that Indonesia is long way from that juncture.



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