The Role of Islamic Law (Sharia) in Post-Tsunami Reconstruction Michelle Ann Miller (National University of Singapore)
Few issues have generated as much controversy as Islamic law (sharia) in post-tsunami, post-conflict Aceh. Many of the international aid agencies involved in the large-scale reconstruction and rehabilitation effort have viewed sharia with suspicion and concern. Others have implicitly or explicitly supported the expanding application of Islamic law, by providing funding and other forms of humanitarian assistance to Acehnese religious institutions and organizations. Aceh’s evolving Islamic legal system has also been the subject of heated national debate. As the only Indonesian province authorized to implement Islamic law in its entirety, Aceh has been viewed by Islamist groups as a model for the rest of the country, but by certain moderate Muslim and non-Muslim organizations as a potential threat to Indonesia’s pluralist foundations.