Indonesia, land of ‘moderate Islam,’ canes gay men 83 times

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By Cheryl K. Chumley


Muslim authorities in the Indonesia province of Aceh inflicted an 83-caning punishment on two men, age 20 and 23, for the crime of being gay.

This, despite the fact Indonesia is generally known as a land of “moderate Islam,” one that’s not so heavy on the Shariah tenets. In fact, Vice President Mike Pence just toured the country in April and praised its moderate form of Islamic followings as “an inspiration to the world.”

Don’t know about that. But Aceh, at least, is most definitely an ultra-conservative province of Indonesia, one that holds fast to strict Islamic beliefs — beliefs, for instance, that allow for harsh punishments for homosexuals, for adultery and for other behaviors found to be non-compliant with the religious teachings of the Koran.

One such punishment was just inflicted on two gay men at a mosque in Banda Aceh, the capital of the province. They were caned 83 times, on video, and before a crowd of hundreds.

The punishment took about four hours to inflict.

Along with the gay men, four other couples who had been found guilty of engaging in sexual acts outside of marriage were also caned.

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