Tight Clothing

Jun 22nd, 2007, in News, by

Women university students in tight clothing, or not.

The Syiah Kuala University (Unsyiah) in Aceh will shortly issue a regulation banning the wearing of tight clothing by female students. On 18th June the Rector’s assistant, Edi Nur Ilyas, said:

A ban on women students wearing tight clothes will be enforced in stages.

A staged enforcement of the new rules on Muslim clothing was necessary, he said, so as to allow students time to learn what was acceptable in their way of dress, according to Islam. He said lecturers would be free to disallow women students from entering classes if the girls’ clothes were very tight.

All female students at Unsyiah currently wear the jilbab, or headscarf, it is said. gatra

He said the ban was in response to the demands and protests of many students at the university, probably including the Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa Muslim Indonesia (KAMMI), which, on the same day, staged a protest march in Banda Aceh from the Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Ar-Raniry to nearby Unsyiah calling on university administrators to fully apply Islamic law on campuses.

A spokesman for KAMMI, which is affiliated to the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Rusmadi, said:

Islamic law is meant to be applied in all places, so we demand that sharia be upheld properly on campuses.

The marchers carried posters that said things like:

We need sharia to be actually applied, not just exist on paper. Uphold sharia on campus. Don’t make my campus a place of sin, those who violate sharia law can go to hell.

Rusmadi complained:

There has been sharia for five years now but why do violations of it still often occur on campuses like the wearing of tight clothes and young men and women mixing freely, and lectures that are scheduled when it is time to pray?

On the issue of tight clothing and fraternizing another KAMMI spokeman, Basri Efendi, said he hoped the students and university officials could sit down together to agree on the rules. republika

Examples of incorrect and correct Muslim dress for women.


Wrong. Skirt is too short; headscarf doesn’t cover chest.


Nope. Short sleeves, ankles visible; too tight, figure hugging, wearing lipstick.


Way off. Too tight and short; short sleeves, ankles showing, slit in skirt.


Just right. Only hands and face visible.


46 Comments on “Tight Clothing”

  1. avatar Robert says:

    Hassan,

    You missed one: fear of expulsion. If all those women were that faithful, why weren’t they covered in the first place? Why did they start covering up after the regulation was issued? Were they that weak, that they had to be forced into those dresses? It is typical to see that people need state or -in this case – university issued rules to live by sharia.
    I think it was was sheer fear of expulsion and maybe fear of the police, that made those women cover up but not the fear of Allah.

  2. avatar Hassan says:

    Robert: Maybe you’re right, some of them might do it because of the reasons you mentioned. But we can’t peer into their individual hearts to accurately determine the reasoning behind their decision to wear such clothing. But a large proportion of Acehnese women had already worn the veil even before the regulation was enacted. Obviously some of them were encouraged to wear the dress after the regulation ( hey, sometimes faith needed a little encouragement 😀 ), and some only needed guidance and directions on what constitute a proper Muslim dress.

    About the enforcement, ask anyone in the western world, even they will say that any regulation needed law enforcement. For example: those who ran around naked in public in some western countries will be arrested, wouldn’t they?

    Sharia IS the Islamic law. Perhaps some of it’s law are more difficult to understand using the western based values as a filter. But actually Islam is a complete way of life, and it’s laws naturally encompasses more than those of the western laws, being a complete way of life and all.

  3. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Hear ye, Islam is a complete way of life. Follow in the path trodden by our beloved Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). We are on a war path with the Wests, and booties abound. Learn and dress Arabic for they are the choice of Allah Subhana Wata’ala. Allah knows best.

  4. avatar Robert says:

    Hassan,

    sometimes faith needed a little encouragement

    Does it really? Faith is there or it isn’t. Religion is a matter of the heart. You believe or don’t. If you need “encouragement” to live your life according Islamic rules, you must be quite weak, with a low level of faith.
    When a Acehnese woman is covered up, you never know if she is a devout Muslim or someone who just goes with the flow, for the purpose of staying out of trouble. It is only cosmetic then.

    About the enforcement, ask anyone in the western world, even they will say that any regulation needed law enforcement.

    Though the laws in the west are applicable to all people, irrespective of race, gender or religion and don’t discriminate.
    My point was not about the enforcement of the law, but about sharia being the official law in the first place. There was already a law, which applied to all people in Indonesia.

    For example: those who ran around naked in public in some western countries will be arrested, wouldn’t they?

    Not only in western countries but also in Indonesia, I don’t think sharia-based law had to be introduced to prevent naked people running around Aceh. I think present Indonesian law would have covered this issue too.
    If you don’t obey the law you will be held accountable, that is the idea of any law. A law without enforcement will become an empty shell.

    Sharia IS the Islamic law. Perhaps some of it’s law are more difficult to understand using the western based values as a filter.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with understanding, but more with accepting the practical consequences and fairness. I understand that women have to cover up, nothing to understand there, but it doesn’t mean I find it acceptable.
    I remember the same argument being used by white South-Africans who would tell people from Europe, that they didn’t understand the Apartheid-laws because they didn’t have to live with all those black people, and thus western values wouldn’t be suitable.

    But actually Islam is a complete way of life, and it’s laws naturally encompasses more than those of the western laws, being a complete way of life and all.

    Hassan, as you are not living in Aceh (are you?), tell me what is preventing you from living your life according Islamic rules at the moment?
    Do you live in sin now all the time? As sharia-based law hasn’t been introduced on a large scale in other parts of Indonesia, it must be hard for the Muslims there not being able to live their llife as a good Muslim, like the people in Aceh.
    I suppose Christians, Buddhists and Hindu’s have it easier then: just live according to the rules, no need for state enforcement here.

  5. avatar wayne says:

    Wayne: So basically you’re saying: ‘Just throw religion to the dumpster, and simply endulge your senses in viewing the bare human body. Don’t pay attention if God, through religion, told women to cover their body, just feast thy eyes!’

    Yes thats exactly what i am saying, If it is gods will to cover the human body , why are we born naked, And why in your religion is it only the woman who cover up, because it is a male dominated society that islam is promoting,You have your perculiar seculuar religion dominated way of life and i have freedom of choice, and do what i feel is right and not a life dictated by some ainciet religios fanatic. you live your life acording to what you want and let other people live theirs, Oh and yes has any-one actually asked your woman folk if they want to be dressed as you men dictate or are they forced to dress that way, Why not have a vote here on this forum , LET THE WOMAN DECIDE AND NOT THE MEN

  6. avatar Hassan says:

    Robert:

    If you need “encouragement” to live your life according Islamic rules, you must be quite weak, with a low level of faith.

    Well, out of the approx. 1.4 billion Muslims worldwide, or the 180 million or so Muslims in Indonesia, obviously not ALL of them are strong in faith or have a high level of faith as you put it. Obviously, Muslims with a stronger faith are obliged to help and guide our brothers who’s faith it still weak, and encourage them to perform their religious responsibilities. Muslims are obliged to upheld what is right according to Islam, and Sharia as an Islamic law determines what is right and wrong in Islam. Upholding the Islamic law is the same as upholding Islam itself.

    If you don’t need encouragement and guidance in faith, you wouldn’t need the Church, would you? And we must remember, the Church has it fair share “encouragements” in it’s long history. On a lighter note, isn’t celibacy quite encouraged for priests? Are all priests sincere in practicing it? The recent development shows otherwise, but was it the Christian doctrine’s/Church’s fault, or the (small percentage of the) priests’ individual fault?

    When a Acehnese woman is covered up, you never know if she is a devout Muslim or someone who just goes with the flow, for the purpose of staying out of trouble. It is only cosmetic then.

    Muslims are only obliged to uphold the God-prescribed Islamic law, it’s not our obligation to determine whether the individuals are sincere or devout in their religious life, it’s God’s. When in practice, some Muslims are not sincere in their faith, then he/she will be held accountable in the face of Allah SWT. But in the mortal realm, as the culprits had also violated the law and it’s related punishment, then punishment is justly deserved.

    Not only in western countries but also in Indonesia, I don’t think sharia-based law had to be introduced to prevent naked people running around Aceh.

    It’s an analogy. If western laws can prohibit people from running around naked in public and punish those who did so, then Islamic law should be allowed to prevent
    Muslims from exposing their body (which God had told them to cover) and it’s related punishment. I sense a distinct religious bias here.

    I understand that women have to cover up, nothing to understand there, but it doesn’t mean I find it acceptable.

    How about the law in France that ban the Muslim headscarf in public places, did you find it acceptable? Wasn’t that an act of discrimination? Again, religious bias, as you have your own (western) values which made you incapable of understanding other religion’s values, and Muslims have theirs which is different than yours. That doesn’t mean you’re right, and they’re wrong.

    The apartheid example is irrelevant, as we don’t have Muslim women protesting daily for the abolishment of headscarf. And how long did the blacks have to struggle for the elimination of apartheid?

    Hassan, as you are not living in Aceh (are you?), tell me what is preventing you from living your life according Islamic rules at the moment?

    No, I’m living in the island of Java. What you failed to grasp was that for Muslims, there are two categories of Islamic laws: A). The one related to your own individual piety like the Shalat, the fasting on Ramadhan, etc. B). The one related to governmental affairs and public concerns, like the eradicating of poverty, crime, vice, etc., and the managing a government and it’s ideology, which is based on Islamic law and which is always fighting for the cause of the people (be it Muslims or non-Muslims). Type A are presently practicable, while B was something that had been denied for decades now.

    Look at our corrupt government and it’s secular roots for the last 62 years, should Muslims and their Islamic ideals be content with them? Even had the secular system worked to a certain extent, should we replace God’s law with humans’? Are we wiser than God?

  7. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Hassan said

    How about the law in France that ban the Muslim headscarf in public places, did you find it acceptable? Wasn’t that an act of discrimination? Again, religious bias, as you have your own (western) values which made you incapable of understanding other religion’s values, and Muslims have theirs which is different than yours. That doesn’t mean you’re right, and they’re wrong.

    Religious bias has got nothing to do with it because France is a country with a secular constitution. The ban of the headscarf in France was a.o. a measure against the repeated attempts of Muslims to use public places like campuses, playgrounds, auditoria etc. for group-prayers without permission. The ban is not discriminating as other faiths like Christianity aren’t allowed either to display their symbols in an obtrusive and arrogant way. The secularity of France’s legal system is longstanding and dates already from Napoleon’s time. Just like non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia aren’t allowed to show any sign that even remotely refers to other faiths than Islam, Muslims who want to come to France should also inform themselves first and abide by the laws of that country. Romae Romano modo vivitur (In Rome we live like Romans).

  8. avatar Robert says:

    Hassan,

    Muslims are obliged to upheld what is right according to Islam, and Sharia as an Islamic law determines what is right and wrong in Islam. Upholding the Islamic law is the same as upholding Islam itself.

    Clear.

    If you don’t need encouragement and guidance in faith, you wouldn’t need the Church, would you?

    The Church is not for encouragement. The fact that you are in Church is a proof of the faith itself, no encouragement needed there. People choose a religion voluntarily, so when they go to church, they are there out of their own free will. If people don’t believe you won’t find them in any place of worship in the first place.
    This encouragement issue is typical for places where the Sharia is already being used. In other countries, especial secular ones, this drive doesn’t exist.

    And we must remember, the Church has it fair share “encouragements” in it’s long history.

    Absotely true, But those practices don’t occur nowadays. There is no Spanish Inquisition anymore. At present, there is no Christian equivalent of the Sharia or Sharia Police/Wilayatul Hizbah.

    On a lighter note, isn’t celibacy quite encouraged for priests? Are all priests sincere in practicing it?

    Celibacy is encouraged for priests. True. But again, people become priests voluntarily, they choose to do so. Being a priest you should stick to the rules and adhere to the celibacy, otherwise forget about priesthood and choose another profession.

    It’s an analogy. If western laws can prohibit people from running around naked in public and punish those who did so, then Islamic law should be allowed to prevent Muslims from exposing their body (which God had told them to cover) and it’s related punishment.

    The difference is that Islamic law only applies to Muslims, while secular applies to all people. What about Christians exposing their body? Should they cover up too?
    The question is ofcourse why Non-Muslims in Aceh should care about Sharia in the first place. Because you say Sharia is for the Muslims. So there should be separate laws for Non-Muslims.
    But unfortunately this doesn’t happen. There are numerous incidents where Non-Muslims have been arrested by the Wilayatul Hizbah for incorrect behaviour and other issues. What happens is, that in all places where Sharia is The Law, like Saudi-Arabia and Iran, Non-Muslims aren’t respected and their interests and rights are being crushed.

    I sense a distinct religious bias here.

    On the contrary, what you sense is a non-religious bias. Laws should apply to all people and not only to Muslims. That is why secular laws are better because they don’t discriminate between religions, race or gender.

    How about the law in France that ban the Muslim headscarf in public places, did you find it acceptable? Wasn’t that an act of discrimination? Again, religious bias, as you have your own (western) values which made you incapable of understanding other religion’s values, and Muslims have theirs which is different than yours. That doesn’t mean you’re right, and they’re wrong.

    The French Law is applicable to all religions, and not only to Islamic symbols. Dewaratugedeanom elaborated on that extensively.
    I don’t have a religious bias, I have a non-religious bias. I am capable of understanding the fact that religions have certain values, but this doesn’t automatically mean I approve of those values, or consequences evolving from those values.
    Like I said earlier, Muslim women have to cover-up, but I don’t approve. In fact religion has not to do so much with understanding, as much with believing and accepting. Otherwise it won’t be called religion. And ofcourse when you are a Muslim, Christian or Hinddhu you have to accept the rules belonging to that religion. But don’t force those rules upon others. Keep religion to yourself, where it belongs.

    The apartheid example is irrelevant, as we don’t have Muslim women protesting daily for the abolishment of headscarf. And how long did the blacks have to struggle for the elimination of apartheid?

    I can imagine Muslim women won’t protest, because this protest will evoke very violent reactions. The only result is that these women will be arrested and/or molested (or should I say “encouraged”?) by their Muslim brothers.
    It is the same like in Nazi-Germany, no protesting Jews there. Btw in South-Africa the black people hugely outnumbered the whites, and they weren’t afraid to exercise violence in order to get their Rights.

    What you failed to grasp was that for Muslims, there are two categories of Islamic laws: A). The one related to your own individual piety like the Shalat, the fasting on Ramadhan, etc. B). The one related to governmental affairs and public concerns, like the eradicating of poverty, crime, vice, etc., and the managing a government and it’s ideology, which is based on Islamic law and which is always fighting for the cause of the people (be it Muslims or non-Muslims).

    I understand the 2 categories of Islamic laws and the issues they deal with.
    My problem is that you can’t introduce the group B laws, without getting rid of the existing secular laws first. Practically it means flushing the Pancasila down the drain.
    Also I fail to see why matters should improve under Sharia, because the people who are corrupt or act criminal now, will do the same when Sharia law is introduced. For example, do you really think the Indonesian and its officers Army will give up their lucrative business interests for the sake of Sharia? Interesting to see what happens there.

    …..for the cause of the people (be it Muslims or non-Muslims).

    Non-Muslims can live without the Sharia, I don’t think they really want it, to put it mildly. The non-Muslims know that when Sharia is being introduced, they are subject to the mercy of a Muslim-majority and a Sharia-driven government. As is already happening in Aceh, their interests and rights will be crushed, like happened in Iran and Saudi-Arabia, there is no reason to think off why in Indonesia these matters are dealt with differently.
    Indonesia already had its share of religious violence, when Sharia is introduced it will happen again, blood will flow and heads will roll, hell on earth. It will be like 1965/66 again. When a majority group is given abolute control over all facets of daily life, way of government, laws, etc. don’t expect minority groups’ interests to be respected. It doesn’t happen now and it won’t happen in the future.

    Look at our corrupt government and it’s secular roots for the last 62 years, should Muslims and their Islamic ideals be content with them?

    Should non-Muslims be content with them?

    Even had the secular system worked to a certain extent, should we replace God’s law with humans’?

    Yes, human law takes care of all people and doesn’t discrimate and treats all people equally without. About God’s law I am not that sure.

    Are we wiser than God?

    Hassan, when I look at the history and the present I see a lot misery being shed upon mankind in the name of religion or the almighty. I am afraid God’s wisdom isn’t well spent on me, so I pass. When you want to quench your thirst with God’s wisdom, be my guest, I will be the last person to deprive you from your life’s happiness and your place in the Eternal Kingdom.
    It all comes down to the fact whether you believe in the existence of a God (or whatever divine entity) or not. Well I don’t. You may not be wiser than your God, for me the question is irrelevant.

    Cheers

  9. avatar khusnul khotimah says:

    Dear Hassan,

    ‘Faith’ I don’t missed that word. In reality if you live in Indonesia 90% popularity are muslim, to be honest how they dress now? I born in Indonesia all my family are muslim. We dress modesty, for sometime we live in Dubai although is muslim country they don’t force us to wear veil. But is different if you live in Saudi example, weather you are muslim or non muslim you must wear veil. I live in the UK at the moment I study in University I have many muslim friends they are from Iran, Mesir,Afganistan,Jordan,Pakistan and Bangladesh they all dress modesty (not half naked or possing their body) dress in good way or proper dress in different occasion (sopan) the recent I say these because some people don’t know what is ‘modesty’ actually mean. Is their choice to wear muslim dress, I personaly not realy care if you are muslim wear muslim dress or not, you are still muslim to me.

    Tha.

  10. avatar Tiens says:

    I think the Authorities should be focusing on more important things, like poverty, crime, and the eradication of terrorism. Incorrect hijab may be haraam, but according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is self-expression, and therefore optional.

    Article 18.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Article 19.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    So you could argue that the enforcement of proper hijab is against human liberties. However, issues such as poverty are against human rights and therefore should have higher priority.

    I also believe that while the Muslim Dress code is an important issue, it should remain a moral one, not a political one. I have great respect for Islam, but I really believe that there are better ways to show abidance and submission to Allah.

    P.S I am Christian. But Muslims rule!

  11. avatar Maya says:

    I think men basically have dirty mind, whatever you guys are doing will not working. Why they are dirty minded? Most of them have nothing to do, less working hours, and habits. It is not wise to force women to use muslim clothes, come on man, today is 2007 almost 2008. Besides it is old fashion, it is not comfortable. Imagine the cloth women have to wear should be washed everyday, how heavy they are. While man still have dirty minded. Why must women adjust themselves, not the men! The problem is on the men, not women!

  12. avatar Swagman says:

    I find it insightful that the powers representing God (I am referring to the God that resides in Aceh) deemed it appropriate to create drawings of females wearing the type/style of clothing that is considered “illegal” or “improper”. In itself that would almost constitute pornography.

    I am sure that, if there is a God, she would be frowning on all of this rubbish.

  13. avatar Swagman says:

    Maya said:
    I think men basically have dirty mind

    Yep 🙂

  14. avatar Swagman says:

    Maya said:
    The problem is on the men, not women!

    No … the problem is men telling women how to behave in the name of God.

  15. avatar rosejohn001 says:

    I think girls should have liberty to wear clothes according to their wish. Till its not vulgar they can wear any.

  16. avatar Raffaello Tamagnini says:

    first of all I have to say that in my life I have learnt to respect all kinds of culture..so respect for muslims…!! anyway sometimes make thiunk why there are soem sticts rules for dressing and then mens are allowed to smoke and drink alchool? isn ‘t that a small contraddiction? I honestly and pacifically would like to know your opinion about this..thanks

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