World

Woman Flogged For Being Too Close To A Man

| by Sheena Vasani
Banda Aceh Grand MosqueBanda Aceh Grand Mosque

A woman in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, was flogged on Oct. 17 for standing "too close" to a man, disturbing and shocking many worldwide.

She was caned 23 times at Baiturrahumim Mosque for breaking the Aceh province's version of sharia law, the Daily Mail reports.

The boyfriend she had committed the "offense" with was also punished.

They were joined alongside a number of other couples also accused of touching or hugging outside of marriage. One man was caned for spending time with a woman alone, while another woman was pregnant. While she was not punished, she will be after giving birth.

Reports indicate an increasing number of both men and women are being flogged in that part of the country.

In 2015, Nur Elita captured international attention after she was lashed multiple times for also getting "too close" to a fellow university student.

So severe were the floggings, she was taken to the hospital after the flogging.

“Take these punishments as a lesson," Deputy Mayor Zainal Arifin said at the time, The Independent reports. "What has been done by these convicts should not be taken as an example. And I hope their canings in Meuraxa district today will be the last ever."

The region is just one of many that implement sharia law in such a brutal fashion, ABC News reports.

"The blows were raining down on my body, from the shoulder blades to the calves, then back up again," British citizen Gavin Sherrard-Smith recalled of the 50 lashes he received for allegedly breaking an alcohol ban in Qatar. "But with each blow, the skin softened and the pain grew and grew to the point that my whole back felt like it was on fire. Soon it was unbearable, but they kept coming, mostly on my left shoulder and calf. I had to summon up all my control not to move. I didn't realize the human body could generate and tolerate such pain."

While countries like Qatar claim these beatings are in the name of Islamic law, many experts say such beatings are anything but.

"There is nothing in the Quran -- that is there is no Quranic justification -- for sentencing ... woman to flogging," said Yvonne Haddad, an Islamic history professor at Georgetown University. "Flogging has not been used in all places at all times throughout the Islamic world. In the places where it continues to exist it is steeped more in local tradition than Islam. The practice varies from place to place."

Sources: Daily Mail, Independent, ABC News / Photo credit: Si Gam/Wikimedia Commons

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