Maria Anshor of the Fatayat Nahdlatul Ulama says radical Islamic groups in Indonesia are an insignificant minority but that they threaten womens' rights.
Speaking at a conference in Helsinki, Finland, entitled Religion, Fundamentalism, and Gender under the auspices of an organisation called the International Peace Bureau (IPB), Maria Ulfah Anshor, a senior figure in the womens' wing of the NU, said that the activities of the radical fringe in Indonesia were blown out of proportion by the mass media. What's more, compared to the influence of the NU, and Muhammadiyah, the extremists had little effect on the views of most Indonesian Muslims.
Radical Islamic groups were, she said, obsessed with the issue of sharia, and this brought them into conflict with womens' organisations like Fatayat. She gave an example from one of the hadiths in which it is said that a woman may not refuse sex with her husband. She advised that hadiths such as this one had to be interpreted in terms of the times they were written and that they no longer were appropriate.
Another Indonesian speaker at the IPB event, Rahmawati Husen from Komnas Perempuan, a human rights body, said that there were many attempts presently to institute aspects of sharia within regional government legislation and by-laws. She mentioned as an example the anti-prostitution law in Tangerang.
...there is a rule against women going out at night alone and they can be arrested as prostitutes if their behaviour is suspicious.
(...ada larangan terhadap perempuan keluar malam sendirian, dan mereka bisa ditangkap sebagai pelacur jika tingkah mereka mencurigakan.)