24 October 2009

Aceh and Stoning Adulterers...

The previous Aceh Regional Parliament passed a Qanun on Jinayat which included provisions relating to the stoning to death of adulterers. I have written a more detailed post on the provisions of the regulation here. This piece of 7th Century inspired legislation was passed in the dying days of the previous parliament's existence. However, a new more moderate parliament has been elected and the newly elected members had promised to revisit the regulation and amend it once they had the power to do so.

The new parliament has been installed. It is now a matter of urgency and one of credibility that the new parliament place the amending of the Jinayat regulation. Simply, it is time to ante up and do what must be done.

Some have argued that Aceh is a province that enjoys special autonomy and has special rights to self-government and the enactment and implementation of Shariah based laws and regulations. However, it is not the case that the regional regulations in Aceh can be in conflict with the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. Special autonomy or not, Aceh is still a province of the Republic of Indonesia, and this means that the 1945 Constitution still applies.

Stoning to death is an unusual, cruel, degrading, and inhuman punishment. It is a form of torture of the worst kind. To allow a regulation of this nature to stand unchallenged reflects badly on Indonesia as a whole. Stoning is not an acceptable form of punishment. The reality is that people that live in glass houses should not throw stones.


H. Nizam said...


The passing of the Syariah by-law & the Stoning by-law were against the constitution which adopted a system of pluralism (Pancasila). Although the Aceh autonomy law gave Aceh more privileges compared to Yogyakarta's special status (DIY), however it is still a Province part of the unitary state of Indonesia.
What bothers me most is that such by-laws were allowed to exist while actually the central govt. have power to cancel them.

Rob Baiton said...


Yes, I would think that an advocate with an interest in such constitutional matters could make a solid argument that the laws violate the provisions of the 1945 Constitution.

Nevertheless, my point here was that the new parliament in Aceh said that it would revisit the Qanun and amend it. The challenge now is to rise to the rhetoric.

Finally, Aceh is still part of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia (if I am not mistaken :D), and as such are still bound by the 1945 Constitution. And, I never read the autonomy laws as saying that Aceh was granted special status to the extent that it could do as it pleases on the regulatory front sans boundaries.

It will be interesting to watch.

anong said...

Rob I think you are the man for the job:

Please explain why SBY allowed himself to wear silk at the recent Asean conference, forbiddent to men in Islam.

Rob Baiton said...


I cannot speak for SBY and his motivations for wearing silk. Maybe it was 100% silky (aka polyester :D).

Yes, gold and silk are "haram" so I am told (and have read). Something about metrosexual men adorning themselves with the finer things in this life who are then destined not to be adorned with the finer things in the hereafter.

Gold and silk and other adornments are "halal" for women on the proviso that she does not use them to arouse the sexual desires of men, for if she was to do that then she would be an adulteress, and an man that looked at her an adulterer.

So, maybe it is better you pose that question directly to the man himself. Maybe wearing gold and silk is permitted in Indonesian Islam (I am sure that there are many others better versed than I in this regard).

Rob Baiton said...


BTW here is a link to a Q & A about gold and silk.