Ramadan is in full swing. During this time of year, Muslims add to their collective irritability by depriving themselves of basic nutrition for most of the day. In Jakarta, selling food between dawn and 4pm during Ramadan is prohibited because it would encourage people to make proper health decisions instead of letting an ancient fairytale control them. To Banda Aceh mayor Illiza Saaduddin Djamal, a devout Muslimah, allowing people to eat is unacceptable.
“Any violation of the law will be punished with the utmost vigor,” Djamal stated in a press release. What is the punishment for selling food during Ramadan? Public flogging. I never would’ve taken Islam for the type of religion to look for excuses to injure people…
Another recent legal blunder of Djamal’s is the curfew she instated at the beginning of the month. Unless accompanied by a mahram (e.g. husband, male family member), establishments in Jakarta are prohibited from serving women after 11pm. She claims this is to cut down on sex crimes against women, but I can’t help but think she’s envious other women get to enjoy their lives more than her oppressive religion allows her to. “We have studied the matter thoroughly and this is in line with the labor laws,” she said. “Our aim is to protect women employees, especially those working at entertainment spots.” Yes, just like how forcing women to wear ridiculous ninja costumes “protects” them. It isn’t protection. It’s marginalization and oppression.
Djamal’s craziest act, however, comes from her term as deputy mayor. She led the crusade against Jakarta’s punk community, organizing police raids on concerts and parks. Concert-goers were arrested, the men’s heads shaved to remove punk hairstyles (which are somehow offensive against Islam), and sent to a 10-day re-education camp. “The presence of the punk community is disturbing, and disrupts the life of the Banda Aceh public,” Djamal said. No. What’s disturbing is a religion that forces everyone to conform to its rigid standard of “morality” and conduct.
She continued, “This is a new social disease affecting Banda Aceh. If it is allowed to continue, the government will have to spend more money to handle them.” Uhh, actually, you won’t have to spend money if you just LEAVE THEM ALONE. But of course, such a simple principle is beyond the reach of the totalitarian Islamic mind. When a bank manager tried to get out of having to go through the re-education camp due to concerns about keeping his job, Djamal responded: “He’s part of the punk community and whoever was caught has to go through our reeducation so they wake up.” Djamal is the one who should wake up. Newsflash: Allah isn’t real.
One of the reasons Djamal cited for the arrests was the alleged presence of drugs and alcohol at the concerts. Again, this isn’t a problem if you just leave people alone when they aren’t harming anybody. A bunch of happy concert-goers having a few beers or sharing a joint is not a public safety concern.
Djamal’s other motivation was, of course, her religion. “Their morals are wrong,” she said, not realizing she needs to look inward before criticizing others’ morality. “Men and women gather together, and that is against Islamic sharia.” Well, Islamic sharia is against the 21st century, so I think I know which one should win out. To a 7th-century savage like Djamal, however, such a thought is too much to bear.
The backward Muslimah concluded, “We will keep conducting raids until they’re all caught, then we’ll bring them for reeducation here. Aceh [province] is a shariah region. Everyone should obey it and the punk community is clearly against sharia. This training will be an example in Indonesia of the re-education of the punks.” It’s not the punks who need reeducation – it’s the Muslims.