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Islamic Law in a National Legal System: A Study on the Implementation of Shari'ah in Aceh, Indonesia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2015

Hasnil Basri Siregar*
Affiliation:
University of North Sumatera
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Abstract

The implementation of shari'ah (Islamic law) in the province of Aceh in Indonesia was the consequence of a national policy of legal pluralism, effected in 2001 when the national government decided to give a special status and wide autonomy to this region. However, certain problems have arisen. One of these is whether the Islamic courts of justice have been conferred competence to deal with Islamic criminal law and if so, which judicial institution should deal with the matter. Another is the meaning and scope of mu'amalat law (the law dealing with human relationships). It also appears that the central government has permitted shari'ah to be implemented for political reasons.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore 2008

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References

1 See Nyazee, Imran Ahsan Khan, Islamic Jurisprudence (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: The Other Press, 2002) at 22 and 47 Google Scholar.

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5 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, art. 1.3.

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14 The term ’Keputusan Presiden’ (Presidential Decision) was widely used in the past, and often confused with the terms ‘Peraturan Presiden’ (Presidential Regulation) and ‘Instruksi Presiden’ (Presidential Instruction) which were regulated by MPR (the People's Consultative Assembly) Decision No. III/2000 concerning the sources of law and hierarchy of legal enactments. However, with the promulgation of Law No. 10/2004, only Presidential Regulations are included in the hierarchy of Indonesian laws.

15 Gunaryo, Ahmad, Pergumulan Politik & Hukum Islam: Reposisi Peradilan Agama dan Peradilan ‘Pupuk Bawang’ Menuju Peradilan yang Sesungguhnya [The Struggle between Politics and Islamic Law: The Repositioning of Religious Courts and ‘Unworthy’ Courts towards Real Courts of Justice] (Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, 2006) at 369 Google Scholar.

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17 One may observe that the Aceh people often see the ‘central government’ and Javanese people as one and the same, as the central government is largely controlled by the Javanese. The sentiment that the Acehnese are oppressed by the Javanese erupts from time to time, and usually reaches its peak whenever military operations by the national government are undertaken in Aceh. Unfortunately, this leads to violent reactions on the part of the Acehnese, with the result that many Javanese people, not only government officials, are forced to flee the region for their own safety.

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20 Al Yasa' Abubakar, supra note 11 at 60.

21 Al-Qu'ran 21:107.

22 For a discussion of this concept in the Indonesian context, see Feener, R. Michael, Muslim Legal Thought in Modern Indonesia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) at 182ff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar See also Al Yasa' Abubakar, supra note 11 at ix.