Indonesia: Aceh religious leaders want people flogged for playing violent online games


A gamer plays the online multiplayer battle game Player's Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) on a mobile phone. - The Jakarta Post/Asian News Nertwork

JAKARTA, Oct 25 (The Jakarta Post/ANN): The Aceh Ulama (religious leaders) Council (MPU) has demanded that players of the highly popular online game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and other games depicting violence be subjected to public flogging.

West Aceh regency MPU chairman Teungku Abdurrani Adian said such a punishment was appropriate, given that “violent” games were haram (forbidden by Islamic law) under the region’s Qanun Jinayat (Criminal Code Bylaw).

“It is only appropriate in Aceh, a sharia region, that those who perpetrate haram acts that violate Islamic law should be dragged [in front of the public] to be flogged in accordance with the regulations that are in force in Aceh,” Teungku said, as quoted by kompas.com.

Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia that implements sharia law.

The provincial administration has fully enforced Qanun Jinayat since 2015, which allows flogging for a range of offences, including gambling, prostitution and adultery.

In 2019, the MPU issued a fatwa declaring PUBG and similar video games haram amid concerns over a possible rise in violence among youth influenced by the depiction of digital violence.

Teungku urged the Aceh administration to immediately enforce the punishment to follow up on the fatwa.

“Even though the punishments had not been enforced yet, Muslims who continue to play the game will be burdened with sin, for which they must take responsibility in the afterlife,” he said.

He also called on the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to support the MPU’s fatwa against PUBG.

Last year, the Communications and Information Ministry considered imposing playtime restrictions on PUBG due to its alleged side effects.

The controversy surrounding the game, however, did not stop Indonesian PUBG team Bigetron Red Aliens from being crowned world champions at the 2019 PUBG Mobile Club Open (PMCO) Fall Split Global tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in December. - The Jakarta Post/Asian News Network
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