My last column discussed how the Obama Administration is continuing its dangerous effort to appease Muslim allies in establishing limitations on free speech to combat “intolerance” for religion. Yesterday, there was an interesting article from Indonesia where police raided punk parties and took kids into custody to be “spiritually cleansed” in the name of Sharia law. Police insisted that the shaving of their heads and other abuses were perfectly consistent with human rights law because it was benefiting the subjects.
The youths were shaved and stripped of necklaces and other items before being thrown into their “spiritual” cleansing baths to promote strict moral values in Aceh. Aceh has seen a long line of such religious crackdowns since it embraced Sharia law (here and here and here).
Many youths came far distances for the show only to be thrown into vans to be abused by police.
While Nur Kholis, a national human commissioner, deplored the detentions. Police chief Iskandar Hasan insisted “We’re not violating human rights. We’re just trying to put them back on the right moral path.” That statement captures the problem faced by civil libertarians in many Muslim countries. Police and government officials disregard human rights objections because any compelled adherence to Islam is by definition beneficial to the individual. This warped view of human rights was embraced in 1990 by the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation when they adopted the Cairo Declaration, which rejected core provisions of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and affirmed that free speech and other rights must be consistent with “the principles of the sharia,” or Islamic law.
FLOG THE BLOG: Have you voted yet for the top legal opinion blog? WE NEED YOUR VOTE! You can vote at HERE by clicking on the “opinion” category. Voting ends December 31, 2011.