Hard-line Indonesian police shave punkers' mohawks
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — 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 taken from the youths before they were thrown in pools of water for "spiritual" cleansing,local police chief Iskandar Hasan said Wednesday.
Careful there, you might be accused of practicing baptisms.
After replacing their "disgusting" clothes, he handed each a toothbrush and barked "use it."
The crackdown marked the latest effort by authorities to promote strict moral values in Aceh, the only province in this secular but predominantly Muslim nation of 240 million to have imposed Islamic laws.
Here, adultery is punishable by stoning to death. Homosexuals have been thrown in jail or lashed in public with rattan canes. Women are forced to wear headscarves and told, please, no tight pants.
It's not clear why police decided to hone in on punks.
Though pierced and tattooed teens have complained for months about harassment, Saturday's roundup at a concert attended by more than 100 people was by far the biggest and most dramatic bust yet.
To the authorities, 100 young people listening to music is a danger to Islamic society.
Baton-wielding police scattered fans, many of whom had traveled from other parts of the sprawling archipelagic nation to attend the show.
Hasan said 59 young men and five women were loaded into vans and brought to a police detention center 30 miles (60 kilometers) from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
They would spend 10 days getting rehabilitation, training in military-style discipline and religious classes, including Quran recitation, he said. Afterward, they'll be sent home.
Re-education for Allah. Wonderful. Sounds a bit like the Soviet Union and their gulags.
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