Subsidizing Sharia

Money is fungible: if you give someone money for a certain purpose, it frees up money to be spent elsewhere. So the following story from UPI is not exactly a shock. Nevertheless, it is worth pondering.

Tsunami aid sent to an Indonesian province has freed government funds for the lashing of women for purported violations of Islamic law, a report said Sunday.

Militant Islamists in Indonesia's Aceh Province now impose Shariah law and pay moral vigilante forces to harass women and stage frequent public beatings, The Times of London reported.

More "Shariah police" than regular police are on the local government payroll, with many of them aggressive young men, the newspaper says.

International aid workers say the flow of foreign cash for reconstruction has allowed the government to spend scarce money to enforce such laws as the compulsory wearing of head scarves.

Most Indonesians practice a fairly laid-back version of Islma, but Aceh is atypically militant. Strangely enough, I have not noticed any reflection among Islamists as to why Allah punished the militants. Everything happens, after all, according to Allah's will.

(Jack Kemp is not the former football star/politician of the same name.)