Shari’a Law: Gang-rape victim faces public whipping

“The vigilantes doused the duo with ‘sewage,’ apparently raw human waste…”

In what appears to most Western eyes as a scene straight out of the seventh century, a yet to be identified victim of a gang-raping is facing the very real possibility of being at the receiving end of a public whipping for violating Islam’s über-strict Shari’a Law. As reported by both Ireland’s Raidió Teilifís Éireann News Service (RTÉ) and also the Paris-based Agence France-Presse (AFP) via The Straights Times (of Singapore) on May 6, 2014, the Indonesian sexual assault victim may face as many as 9 strokes to her bare back and buttocks for allegedly violating the Islamic legal code against adultery.

Identified by police in the Indonesian city of Langsa in the Western province of Aceh only as a 25-year-old widow, the anonymous woman was taken into custody by the city’s own version of Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (popularly known simply as the “Morality Police”) only after being repeatedly sexually assaulted by a gang of eight vigilantes. The eight took the law into their own hands when they were informed that the woman was supposedly having an ongoing love affair with a 40-year-old married man.

The self-deputized posse not only took their turn in the brutal sexual violation of the woman in question, they also reportedly beat her presumed lover. Only after violence was visited upon the two, the vigilantes doused the duo with “sewage,” apparently raw human waste. Only then were they turned over to the area’s Morality Police.

With Aceh being the only Indonesian province that has replaced all secular law with Islamic Shari’a, Ibrahim Latif, essentially the chief of police of Langsa’s Shari’a Law Enforcement Office, said that both of the allegedly adulterous couple face public flogging if and when found guilty. Stating flatly, Latif was quoted, “We want the couple to be caned for violating sharia law on adultery.” Using a local variety of rattan known as Palembang, the palm is known as heavier than most rattan due to its density. Because of its strength and especially long length, Palembang is also well known for causing deep wounds and lasting scars.

Aceh province was brought to the attention of the Western World when the area was devastated by the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, which killed an estimated 300,000 people in the Indian Ocean region. Centered in Aceh, an estimated $250 million worth of support was provided across the region by the United States Armed Forces, mostly by the American Navy and Marines.