Conservative Muslims in Indonesia have banned Valentine’s Day, with police rounding up couples caught celebrating it in major cities.
The crackdown in the Muslim-majority nation has prompted fears that the traditionally tolerant country is taking an increasingly fundamentalist turn.
New laws have recently been introduced which could see pre-marital (including homosexual sex) criminalised and punishable with imprisonment.
Authorities in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya, briefly detained roughly two dozen couples on Valentine’s Day.
Islam is a joyless cult.
The incident was the latest attack in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country against a minority group in Indonesia, which is home to significant numbers of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.
Police in Indonesia’s Aceh province detained 12 transgender women and forcefully cut their long hair and made them wear male clothing in a bid to make them behave like “normal” men.
The incident happened after several beauty salons in the conservative province were raided over the weekend and transgender employees rounded up.
Police accused the beauticians of violating the province’s religious laws.
“We have reports from mothers that their sons were teased by the transgender women,” said local police chief Ahmad Untung Surianata. “Their numbers are growing here — I don’t want that,” he added.
A hardline Indonesian Islamist group crashed a child’s birthday party as it rampaged through a community on the hunt for clandestine brothels, police said today.
The drama unfolded on Friday when dozens of members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) stormed into a house they believed was being used for prostitution on the island of Madura in East Java province.
The group yanked two suspected sex workers from the home and attacked its owner until she fainted, police said.
The angry mob then proceeded to storm into other nearby homes, including one hosting a kid’s birthday party.
An Indonesian Christian was publicly flogged on Friday for selling alcohol which is deemed a violation of Islamic sharia law.
Jono Simbolon grimaced in pain when a masked religious officer lashed his back with a rattan stick on a makeshift stage outside a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh.
He was said to have ‘bowed to’ the law known locally as Qanun and was sentenced to 36 lashings as a result, avoiding a potentially lengthy prison sentence.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Muslim hard-liners marched in Indonesia’s capital on Friday to protest Facebook’s blocking of accounts belonging to their group.
About 200 protesters organized by the Islamic Defenders Front, known by its Indonesian acronym FPI, marched after Friday prayers from a mosque to the Facebook Indonesia office, which was guarded by hundreds of police. They halted traffic along the way as they chanted “Allah Akbar,” or “God is Great.”
Many carried banners saying “Don’t persecute Muslims” and “Please don’t judge our status on Facebook.”
DEWI Mustikasari found new love and lost her old ideas about faith after Islamic terrorists murdered her husband.
Her new love is a carpenter from the red dust town of Port Headland in Western Australia.
Her old display of piety was the hijab, but that disappeared in the painful, questioning weeks following her then husband’s death in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, in January 2016.
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s counter-terrorist police force is to get 600 extra personnel next year to monitor Islamic State networks and head off so-called lone wolf attacks, the chief of police in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country said on Friday.
Hundreds of investigators and surveillance personnel will join an existing force of about 500 officers at Detachment 88, a police unit tasked with uprooting militant networks and foiling attacks.
Indonesian bakery refuses orders wishing ‘Merry Christmas’ on cakes
JAKARTA — The annual debate over whether Muslims can say “Merry Christmas” to their Christian fellows took a new turn on Sunday after a Makassar-based bakery refused a customer’s request to write “Selamat hari Natal keluargaku” (Merry Christmas, my family) on top of a cake she had ordered.
Indonesian netizens, whether Muslim or Christian, are sharply divided over the company’s policy. If a Muslim believes that their faith prohibits them from saying “Merry Christmas” on the grounds it is akin to confirming the beliefs of Christians (an argument that has been widely refuted by top ulema), would they be considered intolerant if they denied a request of writing it on a cake?
The “Moderate” Muslim nation of Indonesia.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Steven Handoko admits it wasn’t his most dignified moment. Naked as the day he was born, the bookish 25-year-old had been invited on stage by one of the strippers hired for a party at the Atlantis Gym.
That hardly qualified as outrageous behavior in the red-light district of Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, where the Atlantis was located. Nearby were plenty of venues with suggestive names like the Playboy Sensation, massage parlors for straight men. The Atlantis was a gay sauna in a conservative country, but given the generally live-and-let-live milieu of the Indonesian capital’s night life, Mr. Handoko felt safe, if a little embarrassed.
Throughout much of Indonesia, government officials are becoming increasingly aware that the country is facing a hidden epidemic of gender-based violence. While women’s rights activists are fighting to get the government to enact a draft bill to comprehensively address sexual violence (through mechanisms such as increased protections for victims and witnesses, increased access to justice, recovery and reparation mechanisms for victims) the regional representatives council for Bengkulu (DPRD), a province on the island of Sumatra, has a different idea for preventing violence against women and children in their region.
Their solution? Outlawing sexy clothes.
A follow-up report by HRW released today, based on information from senior military and police officers, reveals that the practice of virginity testing is still being imposed on female recruits, although they are being euphemistically classified as “psychological” examinations for “mental health and morality reasons.” There have also been attempts to justify the “two-finger test” as a means of determining pregnancy status (which would also have no scientific basis).
The barbaric punishments, which occurred today in Banda Aceh, are the latest to emerge from the only province in the country to implement the Islamic punishment.
Indonesia is an increasingly devout Muslim state.
Visitors at a visual effects museum in Indonesia can pose for a snap with a wax Adolf Hitler, against a banner depicting the Auschwitz death camp. Seen as “fun” by the museum, HRW and a US Jewish organization called it “sickening” and “wrong.”
De Mata, the entertainment museum behind the controversial display, placed a wall-sized photo of the entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp with the infamous inscription “Arbeit macht freit” (Work sets you free). In front of the banner, a wax sculpture of the Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler stands in a dominant posture.
Soon after the 9/11 attacks, my employers were looking for the next place where Islamic militants were hiding out and I proposed a trip to Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country – where there was a potential massacre awaiting Christians in one of its eastern provinces. The plane tickets were all bought and plans were for me and a photographer to fly to Palu, a city in central Sulawesi, an island shaped like something between a swastika and a pinwheel.
At the last minute, a top editor cancelled the trip because he was afraid that if we were kidnapped, the newspaper didn’t have the means to rescue us. Being that journalists were getting killed in Afghanistan, it was a very real fear. But I was terribly disappointed not to go.