"There is no-compulsion in Religion" - HQ
Indonesia's Aceh to introduce caning in Ramadhan
Story Filed: Monday, October 28, 2002 1:58 AM EST
JAKARTA, Oct 28, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Aceh provincial administration is to introduce caning as punishment for Muslims who do not carry out their religious obligations during the upcoming fasting month of Ramadhan.
The punishment of caning would be meted out on Muslims in Aceh who took lunch during the month, which will kick off on November 6 this year, Aceh Ulema Consultative Assembly (MPU) Chairman Muslim Ibrahim was quoted by the daily Jakarta Post on Monday as saying.
In line with Islamic sharia, during the month, Muslims are obliged to refrain from eating, smoking and having sex from dawn to dusk.
Of the total population of 220 million in Indonesia, 87 percent are Muslims. In Aceh, the Muslims are as high as 98 percent of the province's total population.
Aceh, the westernmost province of the country where the separatist group Free Aceh Movement (GAM) has been waging violent resistance against the central government in Jakarta and fighting for an independent Islamic state since 1976, was granted special autonomy status in 2001, under which Aceh was allowed to carry out Islamic
sharia in the province.
The provincial administration has drafted a bylaw, locally known as Qanun, on sharia to be implemented in the territory. The local authorities will discuss and decree how the caning would be carried out and how many lashes of the cane would be done for those violators
in open places for public viewing.
Copyright 2002 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.
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