Ihsan Dalimunthe & Dika Dania Kardi, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulama Council's (MUI) Religious Outreach Commission chairperson, Cholil Nafis, agrees with a plan to apply beheadings (hukum pancung, qisas) for murderers whihh is currently being considered by the Aceh Islamic Law Office.
"Because it's a special [autonomous] region so yes if the public agrees with it and it's applied through legislation, it would be good", Nafis told CNN Indonesia on Thursday March 15.
The deputy chairperson of the Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board's Bahtsul Masail Forum (problem discussion forum) said that in principal criminal law, including qisas [retributive justice], holds the deterrent and preventative aspects of law in the highest regard (mawani' wa zawajir).
"The punishment is so that perpetrators are deterred and don't reoffend. Other people will be afraid of committing such crimes because there's punishment in kind", said Nafis.
When contacted separately meanwhile, MUI general chairperson Zainut Tauhid Sa'adi said that the organisation would monitor and observe the development of the planned application of qisas in Aceh.
Sa'adi was reluctant to comment at length on the matter because the MUI needs to first confirm with the Ulama Consultative Assembly (MPU) in Aceh on the intention of implementing qisas in the province known as the Gateway to Mecca.
"Certainly the MUI will examine the matter if it become of concern to the [Islamic] community", he said.
Qisas is an Islamic term meaning "retaliation in kind" or "revenge", "eye for an eye", "nemesis" or retributive justice. It is a category of crimes in Islamic jurisprudence which allows equal retaliation as the punishment.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "MUI Sepakat Penerapan Hukum Pancung di Aceh".]