Peeping Toms

Aug 24th, 2006, in News, by

The religious police in Aceh were caught peeping through bedroom windows at the World Food Programme headquarters in Banda Aceh.

The police, called Wilayatul Hisbah (WH), who specialise in seeking out immoral behaviour, raided the WFP headquarters on August 17th, Indonesian independence day, reports say. Thirty men, both WH officers and regular policemen, forced their way into the compound of the World Food Programme (WFP) at around 11pm, in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, despite protests from UN guards.

While wandering around the compound, which contains both offices and residences for foreign UN workers, the sharia enforcers were seen to peer into bedrooms where UN workers were sleeping. Barry Cane, a WFP spokesman, said:

I don’t even want to speculate [on their motives].

Another aid worker suggested that the WH intended to catch out westerners drinking alcohol at the compound’s private bar.

Following the raid, which was a violation of international conventions on diplomatic privilege and immunity, the United Nations filed a complaint to the regional government in Aceh. Cane says:

The matter was taken up with the provincial government, which apologized.

A UN security official is evidently in Aceh now investigating the incident. Cane however said that the WFP remained concerned that sharia police would attempt to raid the compound again, even while knowing that it is a diplomatic mission protected by international conventions.

The incident was not publicly acknowledged by the UN or by Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry, nor did the local media report on it. A Deutsche Presse Agentur journalist was told privately by a UN official that:

No one wants to make a big deal about it publicly at the moment. It’s a very sensitive issue, but there was no attempt to cover it up.

The Indonesian parliament granted the province of Aceh the right to implement Islamic sharia law in 2003. Since then, gradually, the noose has begun to tighten, as religious authorities take increasingly bold steps to enforce their authority over the people.

4 Comments on “Peeping Toms”

  1. Andrew says:

    Sharia or not, it is not the law that matters – it is the enforcer.

  2. Bradlymail says:

    sharia law – whip him 100 times.

  3. Oigal says:

    What wonderful assets to society these hammer heads are. Everything that needs to done in Aceh and this is what they come up with.

    Still on the plus side it show what far better human beings the Aid Workers are than I am..

    If it was me, I reckon it would time to say “stuff it, lets leave them to it”

    Are the local Aceh people so cowed by these thugs now?

  4. Josef says:

    Again, why do Muslims need special police to make sure people are being good Muslims? Are they that insecure in their faith in Islam that anything or anyone that could even coerce the slightest influence take down the whole religion? I guess they do not trust their fellow Muslims’ faith in Allah

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