Aceh Shariah Police Prohibit Daytime Food Sales, Even for Non-Muslims

Police seize cooking equipment at a coffee shop and diner of owners of Chinese descent that was open during daylight hours of Ramadan in Peunayong, Banda Aceh, on July 3, 2014. Food traders are prohibited from selling food from 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. during Ramadan. (Antara Photo/Irwansyah Putra)

Police seize cooking equipment at a coffee shop and diner of owners of Chinese descent that was open during daylight hours of Ramadan in Peunayong, Banda Aceh, on July 3, 2014. Food traders are prohibited from selling food from 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. during Ramadan. (Antara Photo/Irwansyah Putra)

Banda Aceh. The Aceh Shariah Police have banned any sales of food at daytime during Ramadan, and that rule also applies to non-Muslims so as not to offend Muslims who are fasting.

Food traders may resume their business from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and they can stay open after tarawih, or nighttime prayers, until dawn, Hardy Karmy, the operational head of the Aceh Shariah police, or Wilayatul Hisbah, told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday.

“They have to respect Muslims who are fasting,” Hardy explained.

The Shariah police have been conducting a crackdown in the past three days to ensure nobody was selling food in the afternoon.

Non-Muslims, though, protested the ban.

“Since today they [the food sellers] are not allowed to sell food even if they had sold food to non-Muslims,” said Kho Khie Siong, head of the Aceh Hakka Foundation, an organization of people of Chinese descent.

He spoke while pointing to an alley, long known as a food center, in Penayong, Banda Aceh, where dozens of Shariah police officers were standing by to clear up the area. Each stall had a signboard that said only non-Muslims would be served.

“We respect those who are fasting, and we also respect the Islamic Shariah in Aceh because we have been living here for generations,” Kho said. “We were born and raised in Aceh. We are also Aceh people,” he added.

Kho said the local government should relax the regulation so that food traders can maintain their business, since it was their livelihood.

“If they are forced to close down the business for the entire month, how are they going to eat?” Kho said.

Kho said the government did not prohibit the food traders from operating their business as usual in previous years, especially in the Chinese community area.

“I don’t know why they have the ban this year,” Kho said, adding that the Chinese community would meet with Banda Aceh Mayor Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal to discuss the issue.

Erwin, a local resident who lives in the alley, said he hoped the government would remove the policy.

“We’re all non-Muslims here, so I hope the government will give us a little exemption,” he said.

  • Troublemaker

    Incrementalization….

  • Good, Bad and Ugly

    A dictatorship trampling all over other humans’ rights, all because of a fictitious and fraudulent belief system.
    If you do not like my comment then you are free, under human rights, to prove your case and to prove me wrong. By proof I mean verifiable proof, with undeniable evidence and factual data; or go to hell. Oh wait, that place hasn’t been proven to exist either.
    Yes I am fed up with theists of all sorts and denominations and sects and mythologies trying to tell me how to live my life, which is my business and nobody else’s business.
    We live in the age of science where EVERYTHING can be proven or postulated or extrapolated by analytical means.
    I await your replies with bated breath. What? You say I can wait til hell freezes over??

  • Max Headroom

    Once again – an absolutely ridiculous and kneejerk implementation. And always the same old arguments – “not to offend Muslims”.
    What actually happened with the proposed implementation of the sharia based law that even non-Muslims have to wear Muslim attire – again “Not to offend Muslims”? I remember that it was a few months ago under review from some Ministry (Home Ministry I think, it was NOT the Sunni Affairs Ministry). Has that one actually been approved?

    Every month a bit more and more and will NEVER EVER be enough on restrictive bylaws.

    And certainly, what Erwin and Kho and other local non-Muslim food seller hope that the local government will give them an exemption will also not happen. It has gone too far already and it is a great tool of control and power for those implementing the laws. I can only suggest to them to sell their businesses and leave Aceh.

  • The Hangman

    Fasting is good for everyone. Get on board people!

  • Pelan2

    Must be fun to have 24 hours of darkness a day..

  • The Doc

    Respect Islam and to hell with everything else.
    Welcome to Ache! Indonesia greatest potential tourist paradise, or so Ache’s idiot governor claims.

  • lost-and-found

    So you want people to respect your beliefs? This is not the way to go about it. *facepalm*

  • Win

    “They have to respect Muslims who are fasting,” Hardy explained.

    Do they respect other non-muslim people? Respect is both ways.

  • masmon2

    Aceh – the failure of Indonesia.

    A place where islam has no respect for others of differing beliefs – shame on you…..

    It is time for the acehnese people to be allowed a referendum about sharia

  • cranberry

    It’s a shame that the local Muslims have so little self control or faith in their God that they are tempted to eat just by watching others eat. I thought one’s religion was supposed to teach one how to fight temptation without taking away the freedom of others. Rather than tell others not to eat or drink, ask your God for some intestinal fortitude. Why are Muslims so weak against the trials of life and blame others for their problems.

  • no.n.sense

    time to move out guys and let the deadheads stew in their own stupidity.

  • michel

    can we pretend aceh is not part of indonesia during ramadhan?

  • Guest

    “The Aceh Shariah Police have banned any sales
    of food at daytime during Ramadan, and that rule also applies to
    non-Muslims so as not to offend Muslims who are fasting.” I’m sorry, but
    the banning itself is even more offensive to our non-Muslim brothers
    and sisters. People should really have to start to mind their own
    business.

    “They have to respect Muslims who are fasting,” Hardy explained.
    In my opinion, respect is not something you asked for. People will give it to you when they think that you deserve it. Wrong move, buddy.

    • raj

      Really? So when France bans hijab on schools where there are no uniform codes or when Denmark bans halal meat thats okay? You bleeding heart muslims are a weakness in this ummah when in Rome do as the Romans do meaning thats the law follow it

  • sumdood

    Those who can fast should be able to do despite others who do not need to fast. People are adult enough to respect each other and make choices without having some religious police hovering over people like a hawk.

  • Fridge Jug

    This is irrational, c’mon… and seizing cooking equipment? really?

  • billy

    its not exemption you need, its called a human right to be able to eat!!!
    If the muslims are so weak that they cannot also respect another persons wish to be able to follow there way of life then , it would be called no tollerance for other religions! this in itself would be breaking the law of indonesia! and is punishable by law. so all police banning consumption and selling of food would be liable to imprisonment,, as they are in other countries that also hold ramadan!!
    If you are strong and follow your religion , you have no need to have bans on things that are your temptations!!!
    that is what ramadan is partly about… having the temptation to test you!! why have ramadan if you cannot be tested for your faith???

  • Ganendra

    I’m a muslim and currently I’m fasting, but this kind of crap offends me so bad that I can’t hold my anger and spitting curse words. I’m not trying to be a liberal muslim for not defending what my muslim brothers has done, but this is riddiculous man. How can you forbid people who are not Islam to eat and ask respect afterwards? They have nothing to do with our religion practice, come on. You don’t need to beg for respects by acting like this.

    I’m embarassed that your acts have smear our religion name in this holy month.

    • Bruce Baggett

      Ganendra, Can I ask? Even Muslims are allowed to eat during fasting hours if they’re on the road and feeling famished, aren’t they? Indonesians are CONSTANTLY travelling long distances–the month of Ramadan doesn’t stop them.

  • Francis

    I guess its because many people (mostly but not always Muslims) use that unproven opinion to shove their own misguided beliefs down everyone elses throat – murder, oppression, rape even cannibalism are all happening right now because of something that as you say cannot be proven… I think anyone who expresses exasperation at this state is not being arrogant but actually saying something many in the said group should be saying.- Peace to all (except you) seems to be the words on their lips

    • Troublemaker

      If you do not see the arrogance in the post to which I replied, then you are either blind or ignorant. In the meantime, I will assume you are both…

  • Bruce Baggett

    Hogster, Are you with the belief that any religion was different at that time?! You really need to learn to differentiate religion from culture, and ask yourself how comments like yours will provide support for anyone but extreme radicals.

    • HOGSTER HUNTER

      I know enough about most religions to know I don’t wish to be a part of any of them. Not even Buddhism, which does seem to be the most placid, because there are something like about 40 variants of Buddhism, Blah Blah. Anyone want to argue with me and claim Islam is not the worst Ideology there is on Gaia?

  • raj

    Your opinion is worth nothing to muslims and you didnt looking at history. Prophet Muhammad (saw) is considered the greatest to have ever lived by non muslim scholars did they somehow miss your “facts”?
    Liars should at least tell it more eloquently to make their lies believable.
    He had a total of 9 wives his first wife he was married to for 25 years when she died ge was single for 2 years most women he married had no one to look after them.
    He was such a murderer he forgave the people who killed his uncle and took mo revenge on the people of Makkah he only launched retaliatory raids against meccans for their transgressions against him.
    even in europe it was legal to marry young girls up to the late 19 th century or did you purposely ignore that to make your sick slanders more legitimate

  • Eric

    seize cooking equipment how old are u 5?

  • gcaisle

    Pathetic

  • Max Headroom

    Looks rather like a hygiene control unit than the Sharia police. But then again – something like hygiene control for food outlets is not really in existence as easily 99 percent of shops would need to close if they would be audited by international hygiene standards.
    Confiscating cooking utensil i s pathetic, and so is the rule also prohibiting non-Muslims to adhere to islamic rules, including clothing which was seemingly also approved and implemented despite complaints by human right groups – but what to expect from a home affairs minister who has the very same agenda than those sharia officers (or at least the people behind them sucking those crazy rules out of their fingers).