A young couple chat in the shade on a beach near Banda Aceh
A young couple chat in the shade on a beach near Banda Aceh December 9, 2012. Under sharia, it is a crime for an unmarried man and woman who are not related by blood to associate in an "isolated place." Some residents near beaches in Aceh, together with many others including some local ulama, believe the devastating 2004 tsunami that killed 170,000 people in Aceh province was the punishment from God for those who broke Islamic laws and fear it might happen again. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation, but nowhere is the faith more strictly interpreted than in Aceh, sometimes referred to as the "verandah of Mecca" because it was one of the first parts of the archipelago to turn to Islam. Aceh is Indonesia's only province to have implemented sharia, or Islamic laws. Picture taken December 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (INDONESIA - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY RELIGION)
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