Officials in the conservative Indonesian province of Aceh are outraged over a brazen protest against their religious ideals by a man, who appears to be a foreigner, who snuck in his message – and more – on Google Street View.
Recently, Aceh citizens discovered a user-submitted photo on Google Street View from a cafe on Jalan Taman Makam Pahlawan in the province's capital of Banda Aceh. The unidentified man in the photo appeared to be butt-naked, and he held to the camera a handwritten message on his left palm that read, "Protest sharia law."
The photo was accessible this morning, but appears to have been removed as of the time of writing this afternoon.
Banda Aceh Mayor Aminullah Usman said the city administration called on citizens to report the photo in order to have Google remove it.
"The city administration is asking for legal experts to give their opinion on possibly reporting those responsible for providing a platform for the photo, and the user who uploaded the content," Aminullah told reporters today.
The Aceh Regional Council (DPR Aceh) also strongly condemned the photo. "There's an indication of insulting our region, which, to this day, is committed to Islamic sharia as a way of life," DPR Aceh Deputy Speaker Safaruddin said. "I think this was deliberate."
Aceh is the only province in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation that imposes sharia law, part of a 2005 autonomy deal with the central government that ended a decades-long separatist insurgency.
Since then, the province has been known around the world for its strict enforcement of sharia law, such as flogging citizens for drinking alcohol, engaging in adultery or pre-marital sex, and having gay sex.