Aceh Punk, what is the truth?

What is the truth about the issue of Punk In Aceh? why were they arrested and how the international media response?

Well, first of all, I would like to thank to the world community for paying such attention of this issue. I am an Acehnese, raised in a small town close to Banda Aceh and survived the 2004 Tsunami.So, you may say that I am the one, and my people in Aceh of course, who know exactly what is happening in our hometown.

I am sure that some of you have heard about the news. It started few days ago, when the Police arrested the punk in a concert, then cut their punk hair and took for rehabilitation. unfortunately, many news that has been scattered throughout the world, for some instance, were not true. Most of them only cited from other sources, and added more false and fake information which by the end of the day, made us the Acehnese so much irritating.

I wrote a my notes to this issue in this blog in my own language yesterday, trying to give real facts, and put some comments of the false international newspaper, hoping that the people know the truth, but I think this was not enough, therefore, using google translate, I translated my note onto English, hoping that i can spread better and truth message to the world community.

Here it goes!

News About the “Aceh Punk” scattered throughout the world

After the conflict, the tsunami and several other events, news about Aceh is now back worldwide, not very broad, but still worthy of attention. If the tsunami tells of pain, MoU on the pleasure, this time a little controversial. News about the handling of punk crew by Banda Aceh local government and the Police officer responded by some people of the world as something “violation of human rights”, although many of them support this action.

Well, while the news was raining in the local newspaper, I tried to look at some of the foreign-language newspapers abroad.

Saturday 17.12.11
With the help of google and bing, and the keyword “Aceh punk or punk in Aceh,” I found so many news about it on the internet. In google alone, with keywords that I entered, there were about 2,120,000 results in 0.25 seconds. Of course, not all those related to the problem of catching the child’s punk past few days, but still a lot.

First I looked at Germany newspaper. In this country there were at least two online newspapers wrote about punk in Aceh. Welt Online on Wednesday 14 December gave a title “60 Punks bei zur Umerziehung verhaftet Konzert” or in English means roughly “60 punk was arrested at a charity concert” and the news starting with 4 pieces photographs (relatively similar with other newspapers) where the punk was in the barber and being bathed. The story also quotes from other sources in the form of comments from the deputy mayor of Banda Aceh, the police and one of punk kids who were arrested. Interesting because there was no public comment included in this report. And that made me surprised was, there was a German reader commented “if the punk Alexanderplatz were also rehabilitated, then (Berlin) would be much better”. however I got also many negative comments that quip about the Islamic Shari’a in Aceh, connecting with the Nazis and some even tried to link it to the German donation for post-tsunami rehabilitation in Aceh, many others were quite fair in response to this news.

Another Berlin based newspaper, the Berliner Morgenpost also highlighted this issue. In the same day(14.12) this newspaper raised two stories about punk in Aceh, each entitled “Muslimische Umerziehung für Punks” and “Punks in Umerziehungslager steckt Polizei” or the police put the punk kids in training camp.

From Germany, I try to neighboring countries, the Netherlands. Initially I tried to search news in one of the largest online newspaper of the country, but I was surprised as I did not find any news to this isseu. then I looked at de volkstrat, and luckyly the Dutch radio NRW has been extracting the news.Indonesian version of the dutch radio that lifted the title “Punk Kids Deforestation in Aceh”. Interestingly, the news that the extracted not only from de volkstrat, but also from HLN, newspapers from Belgium. The following quotation: “As with De Volkskrant, the Dutch-language online newspaper of Belgium was also writes that Aceh is the only Indonesian province to impose Islamic law. “Adultery stoning convicted, imprisoned or flogged homosexual and headscarf obliged to all women,” wrote further. “They are also prohibited from wearing tight jeans.” De Volkskrant added.
Punk kids are not only shaved his hair, but they will be rehabilitated. They are trained in military style and told to recite.

And here is my comments
We never ever had any “Adultery stoning convicted” as the newspaper said, wearing headscarf is not also obligated as in Arab, and no problem at all at wearing jeans, my sister is always wearing this and not a problem at all. the writer should come to Aceh once first so she/he can see the reality.
The rest, I let readers to see, how much prejudges were made towards us.

Next I tried to see the news in France. French-language news Yahoonews wrote “Il ne fait pas bon punk à être en Indonésie Aceh” which roughly means that “its notegood of being Punk in Aceh. The news was accompanied with the video of the arrested punk, showing when they were shaved, being gathered in one place and when they were bathed in a pool in which, according to Dutch radio is considered as a “spiritual bath”. I took a deep breath, the video was right, but the news they spread was not involving the situation before the police captured the punks in the town. I have no idea about the rest of the news since I can not fully understand francais. sorry!

From the French, I went to England. put the title “Indonesia’s Aceh punks shaved for’re-education ‘, while the telegraph wrote ” Police shave the heads of punks in Aceh, Indonesia, and Force Them to bathe “. I posted the News from the Telegraph on my Facebook wall with little comment from me that this news was not entirely true. A friend from Liverpool who immediately commented on my wall, and give his arguments. Then I met him and explain what is really going on with this punk in Aceh, Thanks that he could understand my explanation.

From England, I went to the USA. The Washington Post put the title “Hard-line Indonesian province shaves mohawks off punk rockers detained at concert”. Reading this title alone made me really irritated, what do they mean HARD LINE PROVICE? if they mean the religion, there are 5 religions here and we live in peace.Again, I invite the Washington post to come to Indonesia and see how is our religious live here!

Another USA’s, Voice of America (VOA) wrote even worst “Sharia Police Arrest ‘Punks’ in Indonesia’s Aceh”, which again made me to disagree with the title. how can VOA makes mistakes even from the very beginning? did they check before publishing such issue like this? do they know the consequence of publishing wrong news?
For VOA, the punks were not arrested by Sharia Police BUT normal Police. The police arrested them after the public request, who starting to feel not so confident with the present of PUNK in Banda Aceh

Why not confident?. Because those kids not going to the school anymore! and the parents wanted the government to do something!
so, do you think asking your kid to the school against the human right? what would be happening to my country in next 20 years if the current kids all becoming to be Punk? they will be the leader of our country in the future, that is why we care! please consider this! we just want to protect our future!

Again, when I read the text from that title, VOA made other mistakes and so much Provocative. for instance VOA wrote “Super conservative: Aceh is traditionally more conservative than other parts of Indonesia, ….blah blah blah…, the province has specific Sharia by laws That Outlaw homosexuality and gambling, while adultery is punishable to death by stoning “.

Again as I stated before, WE DO NOT HAVE SUCH A LAW LIKE THIS, WE NEVER STONED THE PEOPLE. please not refers something to Arab country even though we have similar religion. this is not in Arab and we are so much difference.

Before ending my travel, I tried to peek the news in Australia. One of the newspaper, the wrote the title “Police shave punks in Islamic crackdown” and start the news with the words “Police in Indonesia’s most conservative province raided a punk-rock concert and detained 65 fans, buzzing off Their spiky Mohawks and stripping away body piercings Because of the perceived threat to Islamic values. Dog-collar necklaces and chains also were the resource persons taken from the Youths before They were the resource persons thrown in pools of water for cleansing”spiritual”. Th rest please read by yourself. I really do not want to give any comments anymore!

Last night I tried to see more information about Punk subculture in Wikipedia, and I was shocked when I discovered that the issue of punk in Aceh has been in connecting (connected?) with sharia;
following wikipedia article:

In December 2011, 59 male and 5 female punk rock fans have been forced to have Their hair cut, stripped of a dog-collar necklaces and chains, bathe in a lake, change clothes, pray and have to undergo a 10-day camp moral rehabilitation run by sharia police. Police stormed the punk rock venue in Aceh, Indonesia’s most conservative province over perceived threat to Islamic values, but a local rights activist said: “The arrests breached the human rights. What the police have done is totally bizarre. Being a punk is just a lifestyle. They exist all over the world and They Do not break any rules or harm other people

Heres my short comments:
1. It was not run by sharia police, but normal police (can anyone change this in wikipedia pls?),
2. Not going to the school is against the rule of our country
3. Perhaps they do not harm the people, but bagging for money in the street or public transport make other people not confident (see the comparison, why smoking in public place is forbidden?).

To conclude, this writing has no means to say if what was done by our government is right or wrong, I realized that it would be better if they treat them in more proper and appropriate ways. not only short-time rehabilitation, but also ensuring their schooling or job opportunity.

For the punks friend, I really do not care what you are doing everywhere else, but in our town, we want to protect our culture, maintain our tradition, and our future, so do what ever you want to do, but please understand us as well… please do not steal our kids from school!
Honestly I like punk music, as long as its performed in proper place, not in the public bus, or by disturbing my lunch time in a small warteg in Jakarta. so, do your study, play good music, perform it nicely and please let us solve our own problem!

For the International medias, please ensure what you write is not just copy-paste the fake news. This kind of information is really irritating us. I am sure you know how to write based on the facts, not always hyperbola that has negative effect to us.

Finally, there is no punishable to death by stoning and we are not a hard-line province! (Sunday 181211)


3 thoughts on “Aceh Punk, what is the truth?

  1. husna says:

    well done ngon!!..
    tamah lom bacut: jangan suka kali urus rumah tangga orang 🙂
    whatever..beginilah sekilas metode “pembusukan “terhadap Islam..
    tamah lom bacut: kalo berani sini ! satu lawan satu! ( baca: liat pake mata dunk,jangan dengkul:-)

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