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INDONESIA
School CP - December 2014



Corpun file 25827 at www.corpun.com

AsiaNews, Rome, 11 December 2014

Indonesia

East Java: three students caught drunk caned at (moderate) Muslim school

By Mathias Hariyadi


Click to enlarge

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Moderate Muslims and civil society are expressing concern following a video on YouTube in which three young students at an Islamic school in Jombang, East Java province, are brutally caned 35 times by their teacher. With the exception of Aceh, where the rule of Islamic law is enforced, the use of such a method of punishment is not common practice in Indonesian provinces. The heads of the institute explained that the boys had been caught drunk inside the building, after having consumed large quantities of alcohol (which is forbidden in Islam).

A further cause for dismay is the fact that Jombang, and in general the area of East Java, is where the seat of the most important moderate Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), is based. Among the illustrious citizens of Jombang there is also the former President, Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, an icon of the struggle for integration between different faiths and interfaith harmony in Indonesia, as well as an important leader in the history of Nu. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the school where the violence was perpetrated is headed by a Muslim religious leader who belongs to Nahdlatul Ulama.

The head of 'pesantrem' -- the Islamic school -- Kiai Hajj Mohammad Qoyim confirmed the reports with no qualms noting that "caning is practiced only for serious offenses." He added that the three students were beaten with a sharp stick with the consent of their parents. The boys could leave school, he concludes, but have decided to stay and face punishment: remorse and caning.

Amongst the "alternative" punishments offered by the school, that of being tied to a tree for three days, but they preferred to be caned  because "it was a quicker solution." A punishment inflicted "out of love", because they had "gravely violated the rules of the institution."

In the past, another student was reportedly punished with a thousand lashes, for a case of adultery.

Questioned on the matter, the Indonesian Minister for Religious Affairs, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin (Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world), expressed his concern and his hope that such severe punishments be no longer put into practice. To educate young people, he added, "non-violent techniques must be used".

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved.



blob Note by C.F.: This was old news by December 2014. The flogging took place in 2011, and the video clip showing it has been available on this website ever since then. It is not clear why it suddenly erupted into the Indonesian news media three years later.

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