A woman and her boyfriend received 25 lashes each for going out on a date in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The city was destroyed in the 2004 by the devastating tsunami that killed 280,000 people. With the influx of money from Saudi Arabia, Banda Aceh has been rebuilt into a bastion of strict Sharia enforcement.
Saudi Arabia used the 2004 devastation as an opportunity to infiltrate the moderate Islamic state and move it toward a more radical philosophy. They did this by funneling huge amounts of money into Indonesia as well as teaching young men strict adherence to Sharia cultural standards.
VOA News documented Saudi Arabia’s intense involvement in the spread of “puritanical” brand Islam in Indonesia. Indonesian men are being transported to Madrasas in the gulf state where they are indoctrinated into Salafism, which is an ultra-conservative reform movement that advocates an Islamic return to Koranic times. It also promotes 100% Sharia adherence and punishment for those who break the rules.
“Salafism is an ultra-conservative reform movement that advocates a return to Koranic times. LIPIA teaches Wahhabi Madhab, a strain of Salafi Islam expounded by the medieval Sunni theologian Ibn Taimiyah.
“Saudi alumni” are now visible in many arenas of Indonesian public life, holding positions in Muhammadiyah, the Prosperous Justice Party, and the Cabinet. Some have also become preachers and religious teachers, spreading Salafism across the archipelago.
The effects of Saudi Arabia’s massive soft power exercise on the Indonesian citizenry are just starting to become clear.”
The Atlantic also documented Saudi infiltration of Indonesia in order to influence the culture and religion there:
“When Saudi Arabia’s King Salman landed in Indonesia on Wednesday, he became the first Saudi monarch to visit the world’s largest Muslim-majority country since 1970. Officials in Jakarta had hoped the visit would help them strengthen business ties and secure $25 billion in resource investments. That’s largely been a bust—as of Thursday, the kingdom has agreed to just one new deal, for a relatively paltry $1 billion.
But Saudi Arabia has, for decades, been making investments of a different sort—those aimed at influencing Indonesian culture and religion. The king’s current visit is the apex of that methodical campaign, and ‘has the potential to accelerate the expansion of Saudi Arabia’s cultural resources in Indonesia,’ according to Chris Chaplin, a researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asia. ‘In fact, given the size of his entourage, I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be a flurry of networking activity amongst Indonesian alumni of Saudi universities’.”
Canings have become a popular method of disciplining those who violate any aspect of Sharia. Police patrol 24 hours a day, seven days a week for infractions. In the video, the couple who went on a date received 25 lashing and public humiliation in front of a crowd calling for their deaths if they do it again.
Indonesia is not the only country that Saudi Arabia is trying to influence. Europe, Australia, and the United States have been beholden to the Saudi’s trove of oil money. And the royal family has used it to their advantage. Sunni Sharia no-go zones have been found in Sweden, France, England, and Australia.
Saudi Arabia is spending vast sums of money to rapidly accelerate its vision of radical Sharia across the world. And its primary target is now the West.