In Indonesia’s Aceh, Stricter Islam Followed Tsunami

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia—Devastated a decade ago by the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Indonesian province of Aceh has turned in its recovery to religion and strict Shariah law.

Many Acehnese say the tsunami was a test from God that brought blessings amid the heartbreak: an end to nearly three decades of civil war, the opening of Aceh to the outside world and almost $5 billion in international aid.

The far-reaching changes after the tsunami, which killed an estimated 167,540 people in Indonesia, also made it easier for local leaders to expand the power of religious law, including the public caning of religious offenders. It is the only region in Indonesia where Shariah law is allowed.

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  • Brett_McS

    The religious leaders were angry with the Royal Australian Navy personnel, who were the first on the scene to help after the tsunami, for being too nice, presumably undermining the Koranic image of the infidel. They agitated to the central Indonesian government to get them to leave earlier.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Just keep making cheap clothing. Beyond that I don’t care if you rape your own first born and pray to the Blood God

  • Just a thought

    That’s OLD news. They started immediately, with their hands out for aid money which they put to “good” use.

  • Mickey Oberman

    When will they ever learn? If ever.