Religious preacher caned for having adulterous relationship in Indonesia

46-year old Mukhlis bin Mohammad was canned 28 times under the strict adultery law, the same law his organization once formulated

Religious preacher. Pixabay

A 46-year old religious preacher in Indonesia's Aceh was caned in front of the public for being in an adulterous relationship. Mukhlis bin Mohammad was canned 28 times, while the woman with whom he was involved in was whipped 23 times. The preacher belonged to Aceh Ulema Council (MPU) that was involved in formulating the strict adultery law. Caning punishment for adultery was formulated in 2014 and was enforced on October 23, 2015.

Regarding the incident, the deputy mayor of Aceh Besar district Husaini Wahab said, "This is God's law. Anyone must be flogged if proven guilty, even if he is a member of the MPU", as reported by BBC. He further informed that the man would be expelled. MPU had earlier put a ban on online game PUBG, declaring it 'haram'. As per reports, the couple was caught in a car parked near a tourist beach in September.

Aceh, where the incident took place is a semi-autonomous province located at the north-western tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island. It is the only region in the nation, where strict Sharia law is imposed. Sharia law, applicable equally on Muslim and non-Muslims was enforced in the deeply conservative Aceh in 2005. Under the law, extra-marital sex, homosexuality and gambling are all banned and is punishable by flogging. The caning is carried in full public display, in open air, though children are not allowed to watch. The south-east Asian nation, where 87.2 per cent of the population practice Islam, has turned increasingly conservative over time.

This article was first published on November 1, 2019