Sunday, April 21, 2013

Indonesia’s New Criminal Code Outlaws Adultery, Cohabiting Couples, Dark Magic

Indonesia’s New Criminal Code Outlaws Adultery, Cohabiting Couples, Dark Magic
Camelia Pasandaran | March 07, 2013

This picture taken in Banda Aceh on April 8, 2012 shows an Acehnese couple sitting together as Sharia policemen patrol in Banda Aceh. (AFP Photo/Adek Berry) This picture taken in Banda Aceh on April 8, 2012 shows an Acehnese couple sitting together as Sharia policemen patrol in Banda Aceh. (AFP Photo/Adek Berry)

Indonesia’s sweeping revision of its outdated Criminal Code spells bad news for cheating spouses, cohabiting couples and sorcerers accused of performing black magic.

The revised 500-plus page Criminal Code consists of 766 articles detailing sentences for everything from petty theft to premeditated murder. Included are harsh sanctions for seemingly benign offenses such as living together outside of wedlock, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison, the same punishment for those convicted of prostitution.

The revised Criminal Code needs to pass through the House of Representatives before it becomes law. The document was submitted to lawmakers on Wednesday, a source with the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights said.

The ministry argued that the current maximum sentence for convicted adulterers — nine months in prison — had failed to curb extramarital affairs in Indonesia. Under the proposed revision, cheating spouses would face a maximum sentence of five years in jail.

“[The] government proposed [the new penalties] because the sanction for adultery is too light,” ministry spokesman Goncang Raharjo said. “In line with current developments, we increased the sanctions to prevent people from easily committing adultery.”

Living together outside of wedlock was previously frowned upon, but was not illegal in Indonesia.

The current Criminal Code also lacks articles on witchcraft or dark magic. Under the revised code, those found guilty of using black magic to cause “someone’s illness, death, mental or physical suffering,” face up to five years in jail or Rp 300 million ($31,000) in fines, according to

The penalties can be increased by a third if the sorcerer offered to perform a spell for compensation, the Criminal Code reads. It is also illegal to claim you have dark magical powers in the first place.

Good or “white” magic is still legal under the revised code.

Indonesia’s Criminal Code was adopted from Dutch law and drafted in 1918. It was last revised in 1958 and until recently categorized the theft of anything over Rp 250 (3 cents) a serious offense. The ministry has long promised to bring the Criminal Code up to date and adjust crimes and fines in line with the current value of the rupiah.

But this latest revision also comes with proposed laws regulating morality, a section of law mostly restricted to local bylaws under the old code.

Ministry of Justice and Human Rights officials stood behind the revisions, explaining that all of the articles, even those concerning magic and other paranormal activities, are meant for the good of the people.

A lawmaker with the House of Representative’s commission on law and justice agreed with the proposed articles on witchcraft, as long as the charges were based on fact, not conjecture.

“It should be based on fact finding, not on someone’s statement,” said Khatibul Umam Wiranu of the Democratic Party.

Celebrity psychic Ki Joko Bodo, who lives in a Jakarta mansion modeled after the Borobodur temple, accused the government of basing laws on fantasy. He worried that police would use the new law to charge anyone accused of sorcery.

“They cannot prove it and can charge people on assumption,” he said. “But just let them [the government] do it. It won’t be effective.”

Articles punishing cheating spouses and cohabiting couples garnered words of support from some lawmakers and condemnation from others.

“Adultery is the beginning of many social problems,” Khatibul said. “The sentence should deter offenders [and] nine months is not long enough. I agree that the sentence should be increased, but five years is too long.”

He also welcomed the proposed laws against premarital cohabitation, saying it was a crime that needed to be punished.

A commissioner from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) urged the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to focus on rape and child molestation.

“I think [adultery and cohabitation] should be regulated, but it is more important to focus on the rape of children,” Nurcholis said.

The new Criminal Code also expands the definition of rape to include both oral and anal rape.

Another commissioner, Sandrayati Moniaga, said the articles regulating morality were a bad idea.

“Adultery and cohabiting are personal problems,” Sandrayati said. “It’s none of the government’s business, it’s the person’s business with God and their mate. The state should not intervene in personal affairs. Besides, how will they prove it?”

Both commissioners doubted police could find enough evidence to convict someone of using black magic to harm another person.

A 32-year-old employee of a private firm in South Jakarta welcomed the proposed laws against adultery and cohabitation.

“I agree [with the new laws] because it will bring us back to our Eastern roots,” Rahmat Surbakti said. “We have all seen celebrities on TV behaving improper and it isn’t a nice thing to see.”

But not everyone agreed.

The government should be offering protections to long-term couples who live together, not punishing them, said Irine Roba, 29.

“The government better look at another country, like Australia, [where] people who live together as a couple and are not married are protected under the law,” Irine said. “If this revision is implemented in Indonesia, women will be at a disadvantage. And what about the rights of children who are born out of wedlock? This is so unwise in so many aspects.”

Additional reporting by Abdul Qowi Bastian

Friday, April 12, 2013



What happens if a politician drowns in a river? That is pollution.

What happens if all of them drown? That is solution!!!

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.

~Aesop, Greek slave & fable author

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

~Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.

~Nikita Khrushchev, Russian Soviet politician

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.

~Quoted in 'Clarence Darrow for the Defense' by Irving Stone.

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.

~John Quinton, American actor/writer

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.

~Oscar Ameringer, "the Mark Twain of American Socialism."

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn.


The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

~P.J. O'Rourke, American comedian

I offered my opponents a deal: "if they stop telling lies about me, I will stop telling the truth about them".

~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.

~Texas Guinan. 19th century American businessman

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.

~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.

~Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)

"Politics is the last resort of a scoundrel."

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

~ Variously attributed to Will Rogers and George Bernard Shaw

Face etched with grief: Carol Thatcher returns to her mother's home

Face etched with grief: Carol Thatcher returns to her mother's home

•Carol Thatcher arrive in London ahead of funeral of Baroness Thatcher

•She was greeted by twin brother Mark at Thatcher's London home tonight

•First public appearance together since funeral of their father Sir Denis

•MPs and peers will be able to pay respects on the eve of her funeral

•White House still yet decide who will represent United States at St Paul's

•2,000 written invites will be sent out by Downing Street today

By Paul Revoir

PUBLISHED: 19:23 GMT, 12 April 2013

Carol Thatcher returned to Britain last night to help with the preparations for her mother’s funeral.

Miss Thatcher, who lives in Klosters, Switzerland, arrived at her mother’s home in Belgravia shortly before 7pm.

She arrived in a black Jaguar accompanied by a casually dressed man believed to be her boyfriend Marco Grass.

 Grief: Carol Thatcher arrives at the home of Lady Thatcher in Belgravia, London this afternoon
 Unity: Mark Thatcher puts a comforting arm around his twin sister before quickly ushering her inside their late mother's London townhouse.

Family photo: Carol and Mark Thatcher pose outside Lady Thatcher's Belgravia home with their partners, Miss Thatcher's boyfriend Marco Grass and Sir Mark's wife Sarah

Dressed in a black shawl with black trousers and large dark sunglasses, the 59-year-old appeared emotional as she was met on the steps by her twin brother Mark who quickly ushered her into the house.

In comparison, the BBC will provide more heavyweight coverage through veteran presenter David Dimbleby, who will front a three-hour special.

ITV insiders say proposals for a special programme fronted by its journalists were rejected because of the cost, understood to be in the region of £500,000.

One reporter on ITV News said: ‘There is always disappointment when you are leaving full coverage to others.’

Meanwhile it has been reported that Italy premier Silvio Berlusconi will not be attending the funeral, despite a concerted effort to gain an invitation.

Mr Berlusconi’s office made ‘numerous and insistent’ phone calls to the Italian embassy in London, but acting prime minister Mario Monti will represent Italy.

Alcohol and Muslims

Alcohol and Muslims

by Alyssa

Note: The word alcohol is derived from the Arabic word al-kohl, which means fermented grains, fruits, or sugars that form an intoxicating beverage when fermented. Khamr or khamrah is the word used in the Qur'an to denote a fermented beverage that intoxicates a person when he/she drinks it. It is sometimes translated as "wine."

Khamr in Early Muslim History

Pre-Islamic Arabs had harsh lives and felt that alcohol was an indispensable way to cope with their problems. Among the troubles that the Arab people had before Islam were: tribal warfare, excessive pride and competition, prostitution, insecurity, broken homes, and female infanticide. Women were treated as slaves, and children were deprived of affection, while men were expected to be tough and competitive. These were all factors that compelled people to drink.

Sale of alcohol was so common that the name for merchant, tajir, became synonymous with the seller of khamr. Khamr shops and bars were open 24 hours a day.

The first Qur'anic verse (chronologically) to deal with alcohol was revealed in Mecca before the hijra:

"And from the fruit of the date-palm and the vine ye get out wholesome drink and food: behold in this also is a Sign for those who are wise." (16:67)

After this verse, some Muslims started to wonder about the correctness of taking khamr.Revealed in Madinah a few years later, was this verse:

"They ask thee concerning wine and gambling, say: "In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit..."(2:219)

Most Muslims continued to drink but some began to abstain or reduce their intake. Certain Muslims had been abstinent even in the pre-Islamic days, most notably, Uthman Ibn Affan, who later was the third Khalifa. Uthman said, "Al-khamr 'robs' the mind totally; and I have not yet seen anything which when entirely 'robbed' or curtailed will come back in its original intact form!"

Recent studies have shown that drinking alcohol can in fact cause permanent damage to memory and learning ability.

The third mention of alcohol by Allah (SWT) in the Qur'an occurred as follows:

"O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say, ..." (4:43)

Now there was a great difficulty in being drunk, since a Muslim has to pray five times a day. The Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said, "Prayer is the pillar of religion. The one who performs it has erected religion and the one who abandons it has ruined (his) religion." Since the prayers are spread throughout the day, it is difficult if not impossible, for a good Muslim to ever get drunk.

If a Muslim failed to appear at the mosque in those days, his friends would think he was ill. He would then feel guilty that really, it was just his drunkenness that prevented him from coming. The religious brotherhood of Muslims helped encourage abstinence from alcohol in those days. It is still true today, that Muslims help each other be strong in resisting such temptations. The Muslim who falls away from the rest of the community becomes like a lost sheep among wolves, and risks being engulfed by sinful ways.

Since there were no drugs in those days to help ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms, alcoholic Muslims began to slowly reduce their intake. Honey was given to these alcoholics to help them restore vitamins to their bodies and ease the detoxification process. These two techniques (slow withdrawal and honey) have been shown in recent times to be effective and helpful in treating alcoholics.

During this period of weaning from alcohol, khamr sellers also began looking for a new means of livelihood.

"...The devil wants only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance and to turn you from remembering Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist." (5:90-91)

These verses are the ones that declared total prohibition of alcohol to the Muslims. After this verse was revealed, the Muslim citizens of Madinah immediately began to spill their stocks of wine into the sand and streets; so that the wine ran through the streets of Madinah. Individuals who up till that moment were enjoying guiltlessly a glass of wine, quickly emptied their cups on the ground and spit out the alcohol from their mouths. They rushed to make ablutions in order to purify themselves.

Muslim Values Make Alcohol Unnecessary

Islam instilled family values and gave security to the people. Thus, with Islam, there is no longer a "need" to drink in order to relieve unhappiness and stress by slipping into a fantasy world. One American convert to Islam, who used to drink before in her pre-Muslim days, comments, "I think that being Muslim has made me face up to a lot of things, which is painful, but by working them out I feel much less need to run away from my problems, and alcohol is basically the best way to run away from problems."

The fear of God helps Muslims keep away from not only alcohol, but all other evils prohibited by the Qur'an, such as adultery, abuse of wives and children, and gambling. Peer pressure (brotherhood) also helps Muslims abstain from these sins.

Attempts to abolish alcohol in America (during the Prohibition period) and drugs (the "War on Drugs") were not successful, because the factors that cause people in America to drink and use drugs have not been eliminated.

What compels people to drink? A variety of factors, including people whose jobs bring them into contact with alcohol, or who find themselves in social settings where alcohol is available or even "pushed" on them. Also, being able to afford the luxury of spending money on alcohol and having the leisure time to drink it, as well as being beguiled by ads which allure a person to think that drinking alcohol is a way to have a good time, or appear sexy, rich, powerful and cosmopolitan. Finally, the example of other drinkers, usually friends or family can lure a person into thinking that it is okay to drink. Alcoholics (people addicted to excessive drinking of alcohol) tend to want immediate gratification and are addicted to this-worldly pleasure. They don't tend to care about the long term consequences.

Sellers of khamr in Madinah were given ample warning that they should find another trade, so the change away from an alcohol-laden economy was gradual and not disruptive. Today in America, much of the economy revolves around the alcohol industry. The government, for example, collects a hefty sum of money from taxes on alcohol. Do you think that the U.S. government today could be serious about wanting to get rid of alcohol? Companies which produce alcohol continue to spend grandly on ads and TV commercials, and then donate a portion of their profit to "help" some of the people whose lives have been ruined by consumption of their product.

A practicing Muslim will not touch alcohol out of fear of God. Those who do usually feel much guilt on breaking a Qur'anic injunction. Many drinkers will cease this activity during Ramadan. Sometimes, excessive drinkers find themselves so changed by the experience of Hajj (pilgrimage) that they never drink again.

In a true Islamic State, a person is not likely to ever reach the point of physical dependence on alcohol. Friends, family and neighbors will not just look away while a person destroys himself and his family. Muslims are supposed to be very involved in correcting wrongs that they see. Islam is a very community-oriented faith. There is no place for an individual to do what he wants to do, if it hurts others. And by hurting yourself through drinking, you inadvertently hurt others.

Too much guilt about drinking alcohol can make a person feel so bad that he or she drinks just to smother the guilt. To balance feelings of guilt, Muslims need to remember the mercy and forgiveness of Allah.

"And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, --- and who can forgive sins except Allah? --- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done." (3:135)

Modern methods of curing alcoholics have not been very successful; many will regress to drinking again. Among the new methods of "treating" alcoholics is injecting the drinker with a drug like apomorphine, which makes the victim feel sick and vomit as soon as the drink is taken. This is done repeatedly over several weeks so that the drinker learns to associate drinking with nausea and vomiting. Temporary paralysis via scoline injection and electric shocks are other techniques Western doctors use to try to get heavy drinkers to quit.

What Alcohol Does

You may have heard that drinking wine in moderation (1 to 2 glasses a day), is beneficial in helping to reduce heart failure. Even if this is true, the harm from alcohol outweighs the good, so it should be avoided (verse 2:219 of Qur'an). If you want to help your heart, there are better ways to do it, like exercising and eating less saturated fat and cholesterol.

Alcohol acts on the CNS (Central Nervous System). Drinkers have more accidents (automotive, and in general) due to decreased ability to function while under the influence of alcohol. Long term alcohol abuse can lead to: hepatitis, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, heart disease, dementia, cardio-myopathy, vitamin deficiencies, and cirrhosis of the liver.

Cirrhosis of the liver can occur when a person drinks every day. Women who drink two or more drinks a day, and men who drink 4 drinks a day, are at risk for developing cirrhosis. A “drink” equals 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer. The liver gets used to a steady supply of alcohol, and chooses alcohol as its main source of fuel, leaving fatty acids(the preferred fuel of choice in a healthy liver) to collect in the tissues of the liver, which cuts off the blood supply to the organ. Liver cells begin to die and scar tissue is formed, deforming the liver. At the acute stage, the person will experience high blood pressure, an accumulation of fluids in the abdomen, vimoting of blood, hepititis and possibly liver cancer.

CAT scans of the head show that heavy, long-term consumption of alcohol can cause the brain to shrink. Alcohol irritates the stomach and interferes with absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It can contribute to obesity due to its high calorie content. The liver is damaged when alcohol causes accumulation of fatty deposits, which eventually leads to cirrhosis of the liver. High blood pressure and alcohol abuse often go together.

Recent research shows that the corpus callosum (the part of the brain that connects its left and right hemispheres) is smaller in alcoholics. Also it has been demonstrated that female alcoholics sustain even greater brain damage than men.

Risk of osteoporosis (weakened bone tissue) increases for female drinkers. There is also support in medical research to show an association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. In addition, women who become drunk are more likely to be victims of rape and other violent crimes, while drunk men are more likely to be the cause of violent crimes.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to birth defects in the baby. In fetal alcohol syndrome, the child will often display signs of mental retardation, and have closely set eyes, a small nasal bridge, epicanthal eye folds, heart valve lesions, microcephaly, small teeth and poor tooth enamel, limited joint movement and an inability to pay attention.

There is great wisdom in the prohibition of drinking alcohol!

Note: Any numbered references (i.e., "2:155") refer to chapter and verse in the Qur'an.



"Islam and Alcoholism" by M.B. Badri, Dr. Scheuler's Home Medical Advisor, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia, CNN, Medical Correspondent Jeff Levin, "The Wellness Encyclopedia" (UC @ Berkeley), "A Meta-Analysis of Alcohol Consumption in Relation to Risk of Breast Cancer," JAMA Vol. 260, #5, “World Medicine” by Tom Monte, et al, and the National Council for Alcoholism (212) 206-6770


This information may be reprinted for educational purposes, as long as credit is given to the author, if the article is republished in its entirety. The author retains the legal rights to the work. This article was published in the December 1995 issue of the Islamic Journal.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lance Armstrong swim venture thwarted

DISGRACED US cyclist Lance Armstrong has been barred from entering a swim race in Texas.

It follows objections from the swimming's global governing body FINA.

Armstrong, 41, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and banned for life before later confessing to drug-taking throughout his career, had hoped to compete in a US Masters Swimming event in Austin this weekend.

However Armstrong's participation was swiftly opposed by FINA, who said in a statement the cyclist should be barred from competing under anti-doping regulations.

“Lance Armstrong is not eligible to race in US Masters Swimming competitions,” USMS, which governs adult competitive swimming in the United States, said in a statement.

USMS said while Armstrong was a member of the organization, FINA and US Aquatic Sports officials had concluded that Armstrong's lifetime ban prevented him from competing in sanctioned meetings, even minor ones such as the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships which will be contested in a non-Olympic 25-yard pool in Austin.   “The World Anti-Doping Agency has banned Mr. Armstrong from competition. FINA accepts the WADA Code and USMS, as a member of United States Aquatic Sports, recognizes and respects adjudications under the Code,” USMS said.

USMS executive director Rob Butcher earlier told The New York Times that he had informed Armstrong's agent the disgraced cyclist would not be allowed to compete and Armstrong withdrew his entry.

“After discussion with United States Aquatic Sports and FINA, it was agreed that although Mr. Armstrong is eligible for membership in US Masters Swimming, he is not currently eligible to compete in sanctioned swimming competitions, regardless of the type of course,” USMS concluded.

In October 2012, Armstrong was stripped of his Tour titles as well as all other results starting in August 1998, and was banned for life after the USADA determined he was the key figure in a sophisticated doping program on his US Postal Service cycling team.

Armstrong finally made a belated admission of doping, after many denials, in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in January, in which he said he used a combination of blood-doping transfusions, blood-boosting EPO and testosterone throughout his career.