The Myth of Voluntary Surrendering to Islamic Law: An Analysis of the Lashing of Non-Muslims Under the Acehnese Islamic Criminal Law
The sharīʿa police in Aceh have been known to claim that non-Muslims who have been publicly lashed for violating the new Acehnese Islamic Criminal Code (Aceh Qanun Jinayat) had voluntarily surrendered themselves to its jurisdiction.
The Authority and Jurisdiction of the Acehnese Mahkamah Syar’iyah Within the Indonesian Justice System
To prevent the secession of Aceh from Indonesia as well as to meet the demand of the Acehnese people, the Indonesian central government agreed to the formation of new sharīʿa courts there. This agreement resulted in the criminalization of certain acts that are otherwise legal under Indonesian criminal law, and it also created a new court responsible for processing such crimes: the mahkamah syar’iyah (Ar. maḥkama sharʿiyya: sharīʿa court)
The inclusion of moral crimes in the newly codified Acehnese Islamic Criminal Law (Aceh Qanun Jinayat) has resulted in a severely vague measures of due process and punitive measures. These problems are rooted in the difficulty of determining the actus reus of the new crimes, which are often victimless crimes.
The Case of A.M. represents one of the negative outcomes of extending criminal jurisdiction from ordinary general courts in Indonesia to sharīʿa courts in Aceh. This commentary examines the indictment of A.M. to show the possible prosecution under the new Acehnese Islamic criminal law (Aceh Qanun No. 6 of 2014) of a person who is otherwise in a legitimate marriage according to Shafiʿī fiqh, the prevailing school of Islamic law in Indonesia.