THE conservative Indonesian province of Aceh is considering introducing beheading as punishment for murder under its Shariah law system, a top Islamic official has said.
Associated Press (via the Guardian) reported Syukri M Yusuf, the head of Aceh’s Shariah law and human rights office, as saying: “Beheading is more in line with Islamic law and will cause a deterrent effect. A strict punishment is made to save human beings.”
“We will begin to draft the law when our academic research is completed.”
Yusuf said his office had been asked by the provincial government to research the method of execution under Islamic law and to consult public opinion.
Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia to practise Shariah law. In the past, they have made international headlines for caning two men for having gay sex.
In February, two Christians – a man and a woman – were publicly flogged for playing a children’s entertainment game that the Shariah courts deemed to be gambling, a violation of Islamic law.
The practise was introduced in 2005 as a concession by the central government to end a long-standing movement for independence.
Its implementation has become increasingly harsh since then, covering offences such as gambling, drinking alcohol, homosexual acts, relations outside of marriage, and showing affection in public.
Yusuf said if Shariah law was consistently applied, then crime, particularly murder, would decrease significantly or disappear. He used Saudi Arabia as an example to follow in carrying out harsh punishment. Beheading and public stoning are common methods of execution in the Saudi Kingdom.
He said that under the current system, there was still a risk that murderers could re-offend after their release from prison, calling the current punishment “relatively mild.”