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Aceh's Shariah ‘Fashion Police’ Get Dressing-Down

Banda Aceh, TAG - A squad of Aceh’s “fashion police” was berated and attacked on Wednesday by a group of men angry over the officers’ attempt to escort what they deemed to be an immodestly-dressed woman to their offices for counseling.



According to Rusli A.K., who heads the Shariah law-enforcing Wilayatul Hisbah Police as well as the Public Order Agency [Satpol PP], the attack occurred after the group of young men witnessed officers leading a girl into their patrol car. 


“We were conducting a routine patrol and our officers saw this woman in tight clothing and without a jilbab outside a coffee shop in Sukadamai, in Lueng Bata,” Rusli said on Thursday.
“She had agreed to come with us to the office for counseling. As we were on the way, some 20 men suddenly began to chase us on motorcycles.” 


Rusli said the gang surrounded the car and blocked it from moving before vandalizing it and demanding the woman’s release. 


“They screamed at us,” Rusli said. “They demanded that we get the woman down from the car. They were scolding our officers and stopped the patrol car from proceeding. 


“They also beat up one of our officers. We did not suffer injuries and the car also sustained just scratches.”
He said the men got the woman out of the patrol car and then sped off with her on one of the motorcycles. 


“We did not give chase. There was the call of maghrib [evening prayers] so we decided to go for prayers instead.” 


Separately, Khairul, one of the officers caught up in the melee, said the men had attacked one officer with their helmets.
“We were lucky none of us were injured,” Khairul said. 

“One of them wore a stud [in his ear]. There was another who said he was a security officer. The door of the car was also damaged,” he added.


Rusli said his officers would continue to conduct patrols and that if they encountered the same group of men “action will be taken against them, because they did not portray Islamic Shariah values of Aceh.” 


Staunchly Muslim Aceh imposed certain aspects of Shariah law in 2002 under an autonomy program granted by the central government as part of attempts to pacify a continued clamor there for independence. 


A series of regulations, known as qanuns, criminalize consumption and sale of alcohol, gambling and illicit sexual relations, with caning the main punishment.
Muslim women are required to wear headscarves and not wear “provocative” tight-fitting garments in public.[]
Aceh's Shariah ‘Fashion Police’ Get Dressing-Down Aceh's Shariah ‘Fashion Police’ Get Dressing-Down Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on March 26, 2011 Rating: 5

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