Punk Rock vs Sharia Law

Written by on June 14, 2016

Imagine being in a punk rock band in a land where sharia law is enforced. Musicians get arrested, beaten and demoralized over their art and musical statements. It happens in part of Indonesia, the world’s largest Islamic nation.

Here, punk rock lives in the shadows and on the streets where religious fundamentalists and political authorities constantly persecute these rockers. Yet, they continue to perform their art in defiance of those in power.

In Aceh, Indonesia’s only sharia province, 65 punk rockers were arrested and sent to a detention center where their heads were shaved and clothes burned. An Islamic “moral training camp”. They went through a “re-education” of the fundamental Islamic life. They survived.

They also haven’t quit playing punk music in total defiance of those who have the power to do so much worse. These people are Muslim. Their faith is Islamic. They follow the teachings of MOST Muslims in the world. Yet, they defy the radical and fundamental teachings of their faith.

They choose to live in the streets. They have adopted children orphaned by the tsunami of 2004. They work to keep the spirit of punk rock alive in an area where leaders could inflict horrible pain, suffering and death to those who have done no wrong.

Noisey went to North Sumatra to find these punk rockers and to tell their story of living under a constant threat from sharia police.

Imagine living in a land where performing your art is illegal.

Video: Courtesy Noisey/YouTube


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