Now, I find excessive body piercing unappealing and mohawks gape-worthy, but the Shariah police in Banda Aceh decided they needed to take action against a bunch of punk rockers at a concert they raided on Saturday. Out of a 100 or so fans, they singled out 59 male and 5 female punk rockers who were taken to a police detention center where the police shaved the mohawks off the men, chopped off the women's hair, confiscated their piercing bling, and stripped them of their "disgusting" clothing. They were then shoved into water for "spiritual" cleansing. According to police chief Iskandar Hasan, they were also given a tooth brush and were told to "use it". What for? Who knows.
The poor kids will spend 10 days at the center,
for rehabilitation, training in military-style discipline and religious classes, including Qur'an recitation.
Of course, Hasan sees nothing wrong with his actions.
"We're not torturing anyone," the police chief said. "We're not violating human rights. We're just trying to put them back on the right moral path."
Nur Kholis, a national human commissioner would beg to differ, since no crime had been committed, and he insists that the police explain what laws might have been broken.
"Otherwise, they violated people's right of gathering and expression," Kholis said, promising to investigate.
When Shariah is the law of the land, as it is in Aceh, the police don't have to prove anything, and people's rights will continue to be violated.