INDONESIA: ACEH TO STONE ADULTERERS UNDER STRICT ISLAMIC LAW
September 9, 2009: Indonesia's staunchly Muslim Aceh province is set to enforce a strict form of Islamic criminal law, including stoning to death married adulterers, Raihan Iskandar, a provincial lawmaker from the Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party, said.
"Unmarried people who commit adultery will be caned one hundred times and married persons will be stoned to death," Iskandar said.
Aceh, where separatists had been fighting the Indonesian government since 1976 until a peace deal in 2005, has so far only partially adopted sharia law, which requires modest Muslim dress codes, mandatory prayers five times a day, fasting and the giving of alms to the poor.
Sharia was implemented under a broad autonomy package granted by the central government in 2001 to pacify the hardline Muslim region's demand for independence.
"This bill only focuses on ethical issues which include consumption of alcohol, gambling, committing adultery and raping," Iskandar said.
Aceh's provincial parliament was scheduled to pass the new law next week, he added.
Crimes such as murder, robbery and corruption will not fall under the new law in Aceh, located at the northern tip of the island of Sumatra.
Nearly 90 percent of Indonesia's 234 million people are Muslim, most of whom practise a moderate form of the religion. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 09/09/09)