Two university students were caned outside a mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia for the offense of being “seen in close proximity” to each other while not being married.
“Khalwat,” which is the term for Muslims who are unmarried, non-relatives, and of the opposite sex who are in close proximity of each other, is punishable under Sharia law. I couldn’t find the specific measurement of “close proximity,” so your guess is as good as mine.
Before the ceremony began, Banda Aceh deputy mayor Zainal Arifin warned the gatherers:
Take these punishements as a lesson. What has been done by these convicts should not be taken as example.
And I hope their canings today will be the last ever.
Nur Elita was first to be taken before the crowd at Baiturrahumim Mosque, where hundreds of cheering spectators had gathered to watch and take photos. After being forced to kneel, a masked man began whipping Elita with a cane as she cried out in pain. By the last of the five whips, Elita had fallen forward, gripping her shoulder in anguish, and was unable to stand. She was carried off to a waiting ambulance and taken to a hospital.
Her male “close proximity” counterpart, Wahyudi Saputra, was brought out next and commanded to stand for his whipping, which he took without much flinching.
I can’t help but question the sincerity of the mayor’s opening speech that he hopes “their canings today will be the last ever.” Of all the violent and cruel acts that are excused by the Qur’an, can he not find a passage that lends him the ability to be compassionate? A leader who allows his people to be caned and publicly humiliated for these invented violations of morality is a sadist. He’s not truly remorseful if he’s taking greater pleasure in bringing himself closer to God by overseeing these beatings.
Also being caned in this same barbaric procession were four men who were caught gambling, another Sharia no-no.
(Image via Lord Spoda)