Eighteen Regencies Sharia Bound

May 4th, 2006, in News, by

Syafi'i Anwar, of the International Centre for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP), remarks on the growing demand for sharia based law in provincial areas of Indonesia.

He says:

The growing efforts to implement sharia are really part of the gradual "sharia-ization" in the country. After Aceh which officially adopted sharia under the special Autonomy Law, many regions have followed suit. Initially, only a few regions such as Cianjur, Tasikmalaya [in west Java], Padang [in Sumatra] and Bulukumba [in south Sulawesi] introduced this law. In 2005, 13 regencies demanded sharia and up to now, 18 regions have already adopted it or are about to do so.

Some of the regencies have even adopted sharia in a way that discriminates against minority groups. For instance, the Padang municipal administration issued a bylaw requiring all schoolgirls, regardless of their religion, to wear the headscarf. The bylaw is unacceptable because it is not in line with pluralism which the Constitution recognizes.

The move to impose sharia is against the Constitution. Indeed, Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country, but not an Islamic state. Our Constitution is not based on sharia but the state ideology of Pancasila. Pancasila is a kalimatun sawa, a common basis for Indonesian society.

We have to accept Indonesia as a pluralist society, consisting of more than 400 ethnic groups with diverse customs, and various religions and beliefs in 17,000 islands across the archipelago. This reality was realized by our founding fathers when they drafted the Constitution.

The question arises as to whether what is called sharia here is actually the real thing, or instead the typical muddled Indonesian version of Islam. In reality it is only aspects of sharia law that are enforced rather than the whole body of its law. However it can be seen as a progressive process, a little now, more later.


2 Comments on “Eighteen Regencies Sharia Bound”

  1. avatar Karlira Kanakahuko says:

    These region bounding Sharia law are the victims of radical Islamic-Arab imperialism. people there, wake up before you are under the slavery of evil law, Sharia. Do not be narrow-minded!

  2. avatar Dragonwall says:

    Have they ever used their brains for conflicting their own interest..The next things they will asked for is for these zariagoons to be armed with pistol air.. Baku tembak nanti..

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