Muslim Clothing

Feb 21st, 2007, in IM Posts, by

An example of a Muslim dress code law from West Sumatra.

The regency of Pesisir Selatan in West Sumatra passed a "Muslim Clothing" Act (Peraturan Daerah 04 Berpakaian Muslim dan Muslimah) on 5th September 2005. It begins with the following declarations:

  • all citizens have the right to hold and practise their religion, and live in accordance with it.
  • concealing aurat (the part of the body that must be covered for the sake of basic decency) is a requirement of Islamic law for both the specific act of worship and the general.
  • one's daily dress is one of the reflections of one's observation of Islam.
  • most Muslims (in the regency) today do not dress in accordance with their religion or Minangkabau culture.
  • to mould the way of life of the people and to reflect the identity of Muslim men and women it is viewed that this law is necessary.

Kerudung

What follows is an abridged version of the law, with the humdrum things left out.

Article 2
The Meaning

  • The wearing of Muslim clothing is meant to show that people and society are full of faith in God and apply the teachings of Islam.

Article 3
The Purpose

  • To form a good attitude and good morals in every Muslim man and woman.
  • To get people used to wearing Muslim attire in their daily lives, and for the sake of having the [teachings of the] Islamic religion heard.
  • To create a society which loves Islamic culture and Minangkabau culture.
  • To preserve the values of Minangkabau culture and tradition.

Article 4
The Function

  • The wearing of Muslim clothing is to protect dignity and as an expression of Muslim and Minangkabau identity.

Article 5
The Requirements

  • Every employee, university student, junior high and high school student, is required to wear Islamic clothing, while the rest of society is encouraged to.

Article 6
The Implementation

  • The wearing of Muslim clothing is to be done at both government and private offices, education institutions from junior high school onwards, and at official functions.
  • People in general are urged to dress Islamically in their daily lives including when they are at public entertainment events.

Article 7

  • Male office workers must wear trousers and long or short-sleeved shirts.
  • Female office workers must wear long-sleeved blouses/shirts which cover their hips/backsides, ankle length skirts or trousers, headscarfs which cover their hair, ears, neck, the nape of the neck, and chest.
  • Such clothing must not be tight or show the body's outline.
  • A forthcoming ruling by the Regent will further explain these matters.

[Differences between Article 7 and 8 are underlined or crossed out.]

Article 8

  • Male students must wear trousers and long or short-sleeved shirts.
  • Female students must wear long-sleeved blouses/shirts which cover their hips/backsides and extend to the knees, ankle length skirts or trousers, headscarfs which cover their hair, ears, neck, the nape of the neck, and chest.
  • Such clothing must not be tight or show the body's outline.
  • A forthcoming ruling by the Regent will further explain these matters.

Article 9

  • For official events clothing is to be in accordance with the type of event and the rules of the place.

Article 10
Penalties
Violations of these rules will be dealt with like so:

  • For government employees - punishments are determined in the civil service disciplinary regulations.
  • For school and university students - first a verbal warning, then a written warning, then informing of the student's parents, then suspension, then expulsion.
  • The Regent will explain more about penalties for students in a forthcoming regulation.
  • For formal events - a verbal instruction to the organising committee to improve their ways.

[No penalties for non-government employees are mentioned.]

Article 11
Compliance

  • The Regent, certain other officials, and societal figures will observe whether the law is being obeyed.

Article 12
Other

  • This law is for Muslims who live and/or work in Pesisir Selatan.
  • Those who are not Muslim should wear suitable and decent clothing.

Article 14

  • The law will come into force in one year's time.

The PDF file of the Act is available for viewing at http://www.pesisirselatan.go.id/.


93 Comments on “Muslim Clothing”

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 »

  1. avatar Andrew says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 12:22 am

    To preserve the values of Minangkabau culture and tradition.

    I don’t know how true this statement is. Instead of inventing a new dress code, why can’t they just enforce traditional Minangkabau dress code? A few modifications here and there will take care of the “practicality” issue, but it definitely will look much better, and still serve the purpose.

    I have a strong feeling that we’ll soon lose our identity and culture – “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” will no longer be needed. Sadly.

  2. avatar Tomaculum says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 3:07 am

    Andrew,
    I have always thought, Minangkabau is a part of Indonesia.
    :)
    Better: To displace the values of Minangkabau culture and tradition, hm?

  3. avatar Dimp says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 4:53 am

    Again it shows how Indonesians prefer “kulit” than “isi”.

  4. avatar Ihaknt says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 5:46 am

    I just love article 2. You don’t need to do anything else to consider faithful to God. Gees I’ve always known that Islam an easy religion, it’s all about the outside package. I made the right choice didn’t I? And article 5 just shows how tolerant Islam is huh, of course again the rest of the society is encouraged to. And last but not least the law will be in FORCE. Just the only way the current Islam knows, by force! Allahu Akbar!

  5. avatar Andrew says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 5:55 am

    Article 5, does that mean that if you are an employee you have to follow the dress code, even if you’re not a Muslim?

  6. avatar Orgindo says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 6:23 am

    sigh, when will they stop using law to enforce religious ethics?
    It will never works!

  7. avatar Niamh Piperman says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 6:43 am

    I have always thought, Minangkabau is a part of Indonesia.
    :)
    Better: To displace the values of Minangkabau culture and tradition, hm?

    You’re joking aren’t you? I hope you’re joking. Please tell me you’re joking. If you’re not joking then I can safetly state that your motto is “Hidup Neo Kolonialsme!!!’ bukan ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’.

  8. avatar Ihaknt says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 7:46 am

    Niamh, Tom never jokes. ;)

  9. avatar Rockstar says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    This may be off topic but does relate in a way.
    I just read the news like a few mins ago about the murder of Pakistani minister. She was shot to death just because she was dressed inappropriately. At first I thought she was wearing something that really inappropriate, but heck, she was shot to death because she refused to wear the veil.

    This is insane.

    I a smaller scale, I’m just hoping that these law makers won’t turn into a fanatic like him (the killer).

  10. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    Rockstar,

    They are already fanatics! Al Quran is quite clear on dress codes, and these are nothing like those in Al Quran, Why don’t these people put their faith in God, is his word not enough for them?

    I just love the way that they try and and hide their intentions by pretending it is part of Minangkabau Culture, they are no better than the Taliban in Afghanistan, who tried to destroy the cultural heritage of the Afghans.

    They are trying to turn the people into Sharia Inspired clones, no individuality, no reasoning, no character, no sense!

    Iblis certainly is doing a good job, when he said he would lead the majority of the people astray, who would believe that it could be done hidden under the name of Islam?

  11. avatar umay says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Come on guys, give them a credit, at least they are trying to uphold shari’ah, of course with the assumption that all minangkabau people are agreed for it.

  12. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    come on guys, give them a credit, at least they are trying to uphold shari’ah, of course with the assumption that all minangkabau people are agreed for it.

    First question, is Sharia even Islam? Second question, were the Minangkabau people even consulted? Third question, is what is being proposed even Minangkabau Culture, as they are trying to tell us?

    1, Categorically No! Sharia is a system of law based on middle ages Arabic Traditions and a sytem for control and manipulation of the masses, hiding behind religious ideals to give it authority.

    2, No, when have the people even been consulted?

    3, No, Minangkabau Culture is based on a mixture of Adat Minangkabau and Islam. Matriachically based, it is diametrically opposed to Traditional Islam as defined in Sharia, however much closer to Islam as derived from Al Quran.

    Quote from Matriachy and Islam Post 9/11:

    The Minangkabau love to tell the story about how adat and Islam achieved this kind of accommodation. The story often begins with a proverb: Adat came down; Islam came up. According to the story, adat originated in the interior mountainous heartland of Minangkabau culture long ago, some say before the time of Christ, and went down to the coast. Islam came much later, brought by traders to the coastal regions, sometime between the 14th and 16th centuries, and went up to the mountains. The two achieved an accommodation and lived in peaceful coexistence until a few well-known Islamic officials trained in Mecca sought to purge Minangkabau culture of adat customs such as matrilineal descent. Those supporting the accommodation of adat and Islam formed an alliance in opposition to the purist tendencies of Islamist ideology.

    Peace

  13. avatar Tomaculum says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Niamh piperman,
    what is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”?
    In Indonesia nowadays?
    :)
    Btw: I#M a serious man, never joking! :) :(

  14. avatar Hassan says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Ah c’mon you guys! Why did you non-moslems always make such a fuss over what some moslems do to themselves? The law was meant to be implemented in a province where nearly 100% of the inhabitants were moslems!

    For non-moslems, read this:

    Article 12
    Other

    * This law is for Muslims who live and/or work in Pesisir Selatan.
    * Those who are not Muslim should wear suitable and decent clothing.

    About Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, are you trying to force moslems to live their lives not in accordance to their religion’s way of life? You can’t force moslems who wanted to practice syariah to conform to Bhinneka Tunggal Ika! Bhinneka Tunggal Ika were meant as an idiom of tolerance, not some mean to force people to follow secularism.

  15. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Bro,
    You said:

    Bhinneka Tunggal Ika! Bhinneka Tunggal Ika were meant as an idiom of tolerance, not some mean to force people to follow secularism.

    This issue is not about forcing some people to follow secularism, but forcing some people to follow Sharia, it is not the way of the Minangkabau, and it is not the way of a true Muslim.

    Peace

  16. avatar Niamh Piperman says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Tomaculum Says:

    February 21st, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Niamh piperman,
    what is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”?
    In Indonesia nowadays?

    Why can’t it be what it has always been? If you sideline individual cultures, what do you replace them with? Increasingly ARAB dress and music and the like, which the fundies like to try and introduce? Just look at how much more Indonesian Islamic dress is more and more becoming like the style of Saudi Arabia – same goes for music.

    Bro says

    Those who are not Muslim should wear suitable and decent clothing.

    my emphasis –

    ‘Suitable and decent acording to whom? The dominant Islamic (read Sharia) notion of ‘Suitable and Decent’ of course. Just ask any member of the minority religions and they will tell that idea of ‘Sharia only for Muslims’ means little if nothing. What it means is ever increasing pressure (and there has long been such pressure) on non-Muslims to tow the line.

    Bro also says

    Bhinneka Tunggal Ika were meant as an idiom of tolerance, not some mean to force people to follow secularism.

    No one ever said BTI meant being forced to follow secularism!

  17. avatar Tomaculum says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Bro,
    and what about the personal decision? If a Muslima say, I don’t want to wear it? Should she leave Tanah Minang?
    As far as I know Indonesia is still a secular state and there are earthen laws valid for every Indonesian citizen.
    And as far as I know the Minang clothes are decent. Hundreds of years the minang people could live their Islam live in those clothes, and now suddenly it isn’t enough? Or is nowaday Islam = Arabicization?

    You can’t force moslems who wanted to practice syariah to conform to Bhinneka Tunggal Ika!

    And where do they live? Don’t they have to respect the valid governmental laws? Which law would be “forced” in some cases? Wouldn’t there be some conflicts between the two?

    (Questions I’ve asked in some of my former comments).

    Niamh piperman, maybe you should read beetwen the lines, hm? :)

  18. avatar Andrew says:
    February 22nd, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Ah c’mon you guys! Why did you non-moslems always make such a fuss over what some moslems do to themselves? The law was meant to be implemented in a province where nearly 100% of the inhabitants were moslems!

    Actually it would be interesting to find out how many percent of the Muslims there actually think that their traditional (i.e. Minangkabau) dress is not enough to cover the so-called aurat.

  19. avatar susanto says:
    February 22nd, 2007 at 1:24 am

    The next step is that those people who are following those dressing rules, should leave their sepeda motor and cars at home and ride on camels. ;-)

  20. avatar Bas says:
    February 22nd, 2007 at 4:19 am

    “Those who are not Muslim should wear suitable and decent clothing.”

    I can imagine what a decent clothing mean for them.

  21. avatar 1ndra says:
    February 22nd, 2007 at 7:15 am

    The next step is that those people who are following those dressing rules, should leave their sepeda motor and cars at home and ride on camels. ;-)

    In which verses? :D

  22. avatar Oigal says:
    February 22nd, 2007 at 9:41 am

    “most Muslims (in the regency) today do not dress in accordance with their religion or Minangkabau culture.”

    1. Well that would suggest that what the peanuts are trying to force down people’s throats is not part of their Culture. No suprises there, Indonesia has always had until recently its own vibrant culture not an imported one.

    “most Muslims (in the regency)”

    2. Again that would mean you are trying to force something that MOST don’t want. Funny version of democracy.

  23. avatar Hassan says:
    February 25th, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Oigal: If that MOST don’t want, they will protest/object publicly. Have we seen any protests there?

    Most people there knew that the it’s their responsibilities to use proper Muslim clothing, as West Sumatra is a relatively religious province. But as happened on so many cases, humans tends to neglect their responsibilities.

    Again, have we seen any protests there?

    And why are we bothered about what they wear if the people themselves don’t seem to be bothered with the rules?

  24. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 25th, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Protest? That is highly unlikely as they are frightened of being branded irreligious by the authorities and possibly losing their jobs. The school children will not protest either as they are frightened of any possible punishment.

    What makes you think that people know its their responsibility to use proper Muslim clothing, where do you get this sort of nonsense. if they read Al Quran and understand it, they will know that there is no such thing as proper Muslim clothing.

    Where in Allah’s book does it command the wearing of proper Muslim clothing Hassan, and where is it described? Don’t you think if it was so important to peoples religious lives that Allah would have included it?

    This sort of nonsense is not what Islam is all about it, it just diverts people away from the real issues. People are not Muslim based on what clothes they wear, that is just crazy. Why are we not concentrating on peoples understanding of the teachings of Al Quran, rather than all these superficial things, Islam needs to come from the heart, not from appearances.

  25. avatar Tomaculum says:
    February 25th, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Oigal: If that MOST don’t want, they will protest/object publicly. Have we seen any protests there?

    Hassan, I’ve thought you would think more complex. What about fear?

  26. avatar Hassan says:
    February 25th, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Because I don’t think the religious authority there had total and complete control over the Acehneses’ lives like in the days of the ORBA regime, Tom.

    Stigmatization? Well if our folks in Jakarta or any other major cities seem to be able to shrug off those kind of fears when it comes to their way of lives, what makes you think the Acehnese wouldn’t be able to do the same if they deemed it necessary? The people with HIV, the homosexuals, the she-males, the prostitutes, etc. had demonstrated and plead their case in public despite society’s stigmatization, haven’t they?

    Tomaculum & Khafi: The Acehnese had wanted Sharia to be applied since before the peace process, in the days of DOM. If those outcries were just the voice of the religious leaders and politicians, then the general public would have had the opportunity to express their objections years ago before it was implemented. :)

  27. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 25th, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Hassan,

    You said:

    The Acehnese had wanted Sharia to be applied since before the peace process,…

    Has anybody actually carried out an independent unbiased referendum and asked the people of Aceh?

    Peace

  28. avatar Hassan says:
    February 25th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    hmm, “independent unbiased referendum”.. does that even exists in Indonesia? The last one in Timor surely doesn’t qualify, and that one happened right in front of the international worlds’ nose.

  29. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 25th, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    Hassan,

    You said:

    hmm, “independent unbiased referendum”.. does that even exists in Indonesia? The last one in Timor surely doesn’t qualify, and that one happened right in front of the international worlds’ nose.

    Witnessed and counted by the United Nations, 99 percent of the eligible population voted, and of those, 78.5 voted against autonomy within Indonesia. What was wrong with that, are you saying the United Nations are biased or not independent?

    The only bad thing about the whole affair was the Armed Militia’s response, which was a shameful thing for our Nation and particularly for our Police and Army.

    One attack which took place outside the United Nations compound was reported thus:

    The attack came as part of a violent clash in which hundreds of militiamen fired on independence supporters, who fought back by throwing rocks

    Shades of the Middle East there, guns against rocks and stones! Only this time our army sponsored militia was playing the part of the Israeli’s and the Timorese were playing the part of the Palestinians!

    Or does your version of Islam only allow Muslims to defend their land and fight the occupying oppressors?

    Would you feel so anti United Nations if they had managed to organise a referendum in Palestine, and our Palestinian brothers and sisters were freed from the oppressive yoke of the occupying forces?

    Peace

  30. avatar Miriam says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    It sounds like there are some non Muslims having a fuss about some Muslims wanting to enforce the small basics of Islam on it’s people. Islamically, and in most religions I’ve studied (Judaism, Christianity, and Islaam), it is your religious rite and duty on your people to guide them towards the truth, including dress (in Islaam that means first with your hands, if you can’t with your hands, then with your words, and if you can’t with words, then with your heart, and with your heart is the weakest of Iman). and Allah knows best. Now the people complaining to much, if they are Muslim, they should first feel ashamed that they are actually upset about some people enforcing the people to cover properly…good grief covering properly is the outward part of Eman, and if you can’t even cover properly how are you gonna work on the heart? It’s really said but its sounds like some people on this forum really need to read some Quran and stop spitting ignorance and nonsense out of their mouths w/o knowledge. Furthermore Shariah came with Islaam. Whoever said that it was around long before islaam is a lier. Before islam came most of the women were dressing like the Jews. Subhanallah sisters and brothers, STUDY YOUR DEEN! This isn’t about Arab, Javanese, American, European, Pakistani, THIS IS ABOUT MUSLIM! PERIOD FULL STOP!

    ______________

    Has anybody actually carried out an independent unbiased referendum and asked the people of Aceh?

    Muhammad, prophet muhammad sallalahu alaihi wa salam, didnt’ go around asking people, “Would you like to dress the way your Lord command you to?” NO, He sallalahu alaihi wa salam said, “this is the way ALlah subhanahu wa t’allah wants you to dress….” and the women RAN to cover in shame!!! Why would you ask people if they’re interested in following their own religion?

    I used to brag so highly of Indonesians, about how they’re the largest Muslim country so on and so on, but it sounds like you guys really need to get with it. ANd for someone who carry’s the name of our teacher sallalahu alaihi wa salam, you really should reconsider your view, and comments…

    Akhi, Quran and Sunnah, it’s simple, don’t complicate it with democracy, culture, logic, and your opinion. Allah created Islam perfect back when, it applied back when, its still perfect now, and it applies now, UNLESS of course you attempt to change it, and how do they say? Civilize it? or perhaps modernize it? Not sure which word is more fitting.

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