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Jakarta Post

Self-criticism over sharia urgently needed in Aceh

  • Putra Hidayatullah


Jakarta   /   Fri, February 22, 2019   /  11:22 am
Self-criticism over sharia urgently needed in Aceh Visitors explore the Aceh Tsunami Museum in Banda Aceh. Aceh was the region worst affected by Indian ocean tsunami and earthquake in 2004. (Shutterstock/File)

An anticorruption NGO, MaTa, recently revealed there was widespread corruption in Aceh involving Rp 398 billion (US$28,199). As usual, this fact has not invited significant attention in Aceh, unlike issues of sharia. It is through sharia that the ruling elite portray themselves as heroes and defenders of morality and righteousness. For example, one bylaw bans women from drinking near a man who is not their relative, one forbids women from straddling motorcycles and another obliges headscarves for female flight attendants for all airlines landing in Aceh. This shows rules are strict when it comes to women, sexuality and symbolic aspects, but they remain more lenient on more substantive issues related to the powerful. There has hardly been any evaluation or criticism of this repetitive pattern. Despite arguments that the formalization of sharia in Aceh is a strategy and a product of pol...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.