Banda Aceh, Indonesia’s sharia police chief, Evendi Latif, really hates fun. It’s not his fault, though – his Islamic faith is responsible for his sour attitude. Envious of those whose beliefs don’t prohibit them from enjoying themselves, Latif has used the law as a means to exact revenge on those who don’t ascribe to oppressive seventh-century ideologies.
Two young women were recently arrested for sitting in public together and hugging. Seems perfectly acceptable, right? Nope, not under sharia – they were suspected of lesbianism (sihaq), which is a no-no. While it did turn out they were lesbians, the fact that people see that as a crime is deeply disturbing. They were spared the punishment of caning because the law dictating that punishment is still pending enactment, but were sent to a “rehabilitation” program. “They will undergo rehabilitation which involves psychologists from the local Social Ministry office,” Latif commented. Rehabilitation camps are a popular punishment for Muslims to dish out in Banda Aceh – Latif’s BFF Illiza Saaduddin Djamal is a fan of them as well.
Speaking of Djamal, she and Latif collaborated on a police raid targeting a cafe where there was suspected free-mixing between genders. I know, such a public safety hazard, right? Police busted into the venue and saw people free-mixing during a karaoke event. In total, 10 men, 5 women, and 1 Tumblr user were arrested. Latif seized security footage to look for more offenders.
Latif also oversees sharia canings. While numerous global human rights groups have condemned the brutal hudud punishment, Latif is totally in favor of it, citing court rulings that allegedly justify the savagery.
Numerous Aceh residents mix ganja into their foods and beverages. Latif isn’t particularly fond of this practice: “Any substance with an intoxicating effect is haram,” he said. When users brought up that ganja isn’t mentioned in the Qur’an, Latif replied: “That’s just an excuse they use to smoke ganja.” They should really give some to Latif – he needs it.
Latif has also surveilled and organized raids on hotel rooms where young lovers were hooking up, citing sharia prohibitions against zina (fornication.) The “guilty” parties were sentenced to public caning – all because a bitter middle-aged man decided to butt into their sex life. Somehow, many Muslims think Latif’s behavior is justifiable… I don’t get it.