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Sharia Crackdown On The Punks Of Banda Aceh :: Liberties Alliance

Sharia Crackdown On The Punks Of Banda Aceh

By • on September 10, 2012

Punk in the Western world

People in the United States, Britain, and Australia may remember the emergence of the punk subculture in the 1970s.  Now it has reached the Indonesian province of Banda Aceh, scene of the 2004 tsunami disaster.  However, as indicated by the Jakarta Globe the punks of Banda Aceh have now become the victims of a tidal wave of sharia repression.

The Urban Dictionary defines Punk Culture as follows:

“A culture popular among young people, especially in the late 1970’s, involving opposition to authority expressed through ‘shocking’ behaviour, clothes and hair, and through loud fast music”

The Wikipedia entry for Punk subculture says:

“Punk is largely characterized by a concern for individual freedom and anti-establishment views.”

Opposition to the stuffy repression of sharia authorities is a perfect theme for punk culture, though those engaged in such opposition are perhaps braver than their Western equivalents in the 1970s.  A picture in the Jakarta Globe shows a punk having his head forcibly shaved by sharia police – so much for tolerance in Indonesia!

In a situation reminiscent of the former Soviet Union or Maoist China, or, increasingly, from today’s EU, it seems that the punks have made themselves eligible for ‘re-education’ or ‘rehabilitation’ as the local sharia authorities clamp down.  It seems that the philosophical ideals of punk are seen as a formidable alternative to sharia in the minds of those who wield power in Banda Ache.

That being the case, could punk sub-culture be a positive force for social progress and human rights in parts of world suffering under the yoke of sharia?  Could it assist the process of intellectual and social development in such areas?  If punk culture could act as a bridge to a freer and more open and inclusive society then that would certainly be remembered as one of its major achievements.  Could punk philosophy be the inspiration for a genuine ‘Indonesian Spring’?  If the punks can help create a more humane social alternative to sharia in Indonesia then good luck to them.  A society based on punk culture would probably be freer, more creative, and more just than one based on sharia.

Back in July 2012, ICLA launched the 2012 Brussels Process at a conference in the European Parliament.  Little did those who were establishing this mechanism against sharia compliance realise that its principles were reflected in the punk culture of Indonesia.  However, a punk quoted in The Jakarta Post claimed that they were not against sharia law.  It seems that the sharia authorities thought otherwise.

Thumbs up for the punks of Banda Aceh!


Punks of an earlier generation