Adultery & Wilayatul Hisbah

Aug 1st, 2006, in IM Posts, by

As two people are caned for adultery in Aceh a report comes out claiming that women and the poor are victimised by sharia law in the province.

The two people caned on the 30th of July, a 23-year-old widow and a married 35-year-old teacher, were caught in a compromising situation at Sawang beach in late June. Nine and seven strokes respectively were meted out, with a rattan stick. A loudly enthusiastic crowd in the compound of the Al-Ikhsan mosque in Samadua, south Aceh, witnessed the spectacle. Their number was in the thousands.


Meanwhile, an Italian man, a worker for an NGO in Aceh, may also face caning for sexual offences. The amorous Italian, named Giuseppe, is being held by police for reportedly having "known" a local girl, named Wardiana, as well as for drug offences.

The Italian man was surprised by Acehnese Syariah police at a house in Pulo Kiton, Bireuen village, while in the act of celebrating his love for his Acehnese girlfriend, several days ago, said police Senior Commisioner Jodi Heriyadi.

Teungku Iskandar, a prominent figure in the province, said that foreigners should not escape the punishments of the sharia:

I hope whoever, including foreigners, who have breached the syariah law must be punished without exception.

In a timely fashion a new report, titled "Islamic Law and Criminal Justice in Aceh", on the application of sharia in Aceh, has been released by the International Crisis Group. It is long, detailed, and thoroughly researched, pdf file available.

Of most interest in the report is its claim that women and the poor are the main targets of the WH, wilayatul hisbah, or religious police. From the Executive Summary:

The zeal shown by the vice and virtue patrol [WH] in enforcing the regulations [against alcohol, gambling and illicit sex] has encouraged a report-on-your-neighbour process and a kind of moral vigilantism. Women and the poor have become the primary targets of enforcement. There is no indication that implementation of Shari'a is advancing justice for most Acehnese. But for many of its advocates, that may be beside the point. The real issue is whether man's law or God's will prevails.

Update 21 August

In the case of the Italian man it appears that only his girlfriend, Wardiana, will be processed according to sharia law. Giuseppe will be prosecuted over possession of marijuana. Usman, the Sharia Police Operational Commander explained how the two lovebirds were caught. The police received an anonymous SMS message telling them about the couple and how they had rented a house and visited it regularly, closing the curtains after they went inside.

The police staked out the place and waited for Giuseppe and Wardiana to arrive. The police peaked through the windows and saw the suspects acting "as if they were man and wife" and thereafter entered the room and arrested them. This all occured in the village of Iboih, Simpang district, Pidie regency.

35 Comments on “Adultery & Wilayatul Hisbah”

  1. avatar Hassan says:

    Mohammed Khafi: let me ask you one last question, say IF you don’t have to keep explaining to people like me and others about your praying ritual, would you still do your prayers like it was today? (meaning subuh two rakaats, asr four rakaats, etc.)
    or would you just prostrate and bow down to Allah, without rakaats and reading the alfatihah, for example?

  2. avatar Bradlymail says:

    Wak Hassan you must respect others people view…end up,everthing becomes to square one.

  3. avatar Josef says:

    I think that the people who love so much to beat people up for having a girlfriend are more upset that nobody loves them, than they are anything else.
    People who have god’s love do not cheer violance.

  4. avatar Pious says:

    Hassan, I think Muhammad Kahfi is one of the inkar sunnah follower. No need to argue with him. Just wasting your time.

  5. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:


    I am a follower of none, other than Allah and His Holy Book, Al Quran. Nobody is arguing with me, they are arguing with Allah, I use nothing other than his words. Hassan was certainly not wasting his time, both he and I learn a lot from our discussions, we are both advancing our knowledge and our commitment to God even though we have different viewpoints.

    I have the greatest admiration for Hassan, although he has a different viewpoint than myself, he is willing to stand up and argue his point of view, he never becomes abusive or insulting and is basically a very good man.

    You I am afraid, don’t even have the courage of your convictions to stand up and discuss these matters, do you have so little faith in your belief that you are scared that it will not stand up to scrutiny? Or can you already see that your practices cannot stand comparison against the words of Allah?

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