Islamic Laws in Padang

Nov 17th, 2006, in News, by

The Padang government enforces an "Islamic" dress code for students and forbids women from going out at night alone.

Female school students in Padang, West Sumatra, are required to wear ankle length skirts, long sleeved blouses, and headscarfs/jilbabs. Boys must wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts.

One student, Ratna, claims that girls wear Muslim attire because they are afraid of their teachers.

Maybe the teacher will punish us. He/She will put our hair under the scarf.

The legal basis for the rule is to be found in a city by-law, Number 451.411/2005, which is itself based on the "Perda Anti-Maksiat", Anti-Sin Law, promulgated by the regional parliament in Padang (Padang, Sumatra Sharia Laws).

The mayor of Padang, Fauzi Bahar, says the law has had a good effect:

I guarantee that there have been more positives than negatives from this law. In Papua, if the law were in force there, I couldn't say that, but just in Padang, it's connected to the culture here.

Fauzi says the rule is to allow for Islamic law to be abided by and it helps to prevent the spread of some diseases such as dengue fever. Day-time mosquitoes carry the dengue virus and they like to gather at schools and bite uncovered limbs and necks. Students who wear full length clothing and headscarfs can't be bitten. He doesn't mention the question of boys' necks however.

Budiman, a member of Commission D of the West Sumatra parliament, says that Islamic law is appropriate for people in Padang and in accordance with Minangkabau tradition. He quotes a local saying:

Adat Basandi Syarak, Syarak Basandi Kitabullah (Tradition based on religion, religion based on the Quran.)

Good local laws are laws which take into account the habits and traditions of the local people, he says, and most people in Padang are supportive of the morality laws.

90% of the parliamentary members are Muslim, like the people in Padang, so laws which increase the understanding of Islam and advance the interests of Muslims in Padang receive a lot of support.

Padang also has a law forbidding women to go out at night unaccompanied. Fitriyanti, the chairman of the Padang branch of the Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia (KPI), says such matters should not be legislated on by the state and constitute a violation of human rights.

Fitriyanti claims that the anti-sin laws have not been successful in reducing bad behaviour. vhrmedia


42 Comments on “Islamic Laws in Padang”

  1. avatar O. Bule says:

    Incredibly stupid of Padang.

    O. Bule

  2. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Fauzi says the rule is to allow for Islamic law to be abided by and it helps to prevent the spread of some diseases such as dengue fever. Day-time mosquitoes carry the dengue virus and they like to gather at schools and bite uncovered limbs and necks. Students who wear full length clothing and headscarfs can’t be bitten.

    Off course, this is scientifically proven, that the male Muslims (Moslems) are immune against dengue fever, the Muslimahs aren’t.

    Padang also has a law forbidding women to go out at night unaccompanied.

    Women, accept it now: we (male) will protect you!!! (patronize?)

    Autonomy or anarchy?

  3. avatar Andrew says:

    Does this apply to non-Muslim as well?

    If NO, how do they (the authority) tell, if they see a woman walking alone at night, whether or not she is a Muslim.

    If YES, well, that sucks 🙂

  4. avatar Riccardo says:

    Budiman, the local legislator says this: “…so laws which increase the understanding of Islam and advance the interests of Muslims in Padang…”

    Can someone tell me how in the HECK does forcing children from the steamy jungles of Sumatra to wear Arabian nomad desert garb — which admittedly WAS sort of in vogue back in the the 12th century — make someone “increase their understanding of Islam”??????

    Is that all it takes to understand Islam? So If I want to understand it better I should wear these really out-of-fashion white pajamas like Arabian desert nomads did 1500 years ago? Does that mean if I dress like Shakespeare, I’ll be able to write great poetry? Does that mean if I dress like Bill Gates, I’ll start rolling in the dollars?

    This is nothing but crass spiritual and religious immaturity as a result of Indonesian inferiority, which means that they feel they need to copycat the way Arabs dress so they can be more like them. In the 80s everyone in Indonesia wanted to wear Western jeans and suits, again copycatting, but does it make the person more “Western”?

    More than any religious edict or spiritual development issue, somebody needs to make an emergency call to the Fashion Police in NY, Milan and Paris.

  5. avatar Fanglong says:

    Fitriyanti claims that the anti-sin laws have not been successful in reducing bad behaviour.

    Isn’t it hilarious ?

  6. avatar Miss Indo 07 says:

    This “bokangco” people keep tryin to make new this n that Islamic regulation,,
    fed up..

  7. avatar Karlira Kanakahuko says:

    Here is the statement:

    Fauzi says the rule is to allow for Islamic law to be abided by and it helps to prevent the spread of some diseases such as dengue fever. Day-time mosquitoes carry the dengue virus and they like to gather at schools and bite uncovered limbs and necks. Students who wear full length clothing and headscarfs can’t be bitten.

    Tomaculum Says:

    Off course, this is scientifically proven, that the male Muslims (Moslems) are immune against dengue fever, the Muslimahs aren’t.

    Watta great idea! You are great, Tumaculum! We are very laughable towards them. They(people in Padang) are very ridiculous. Another and the most, they want to become the most narrow-minded people in the whole universe forever. Ha…ha….ha…ha….ha….

  8. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Fanglong:
    maybe is Fitriyanti one of those women, who slowly come to the conclusion, that they are token for a fool (with the target to decrease their rights in the name of religion).
    Maybe more women should think earnestly, who will profit by those “laws”.

  9. avatar Josef says:

    Riccardo, you are right on. I can not understand why to be a good Muslim you have to dress, talk, act, and even change your name to an Arab one…Indonesia has so many great cultures, why throw them away to adopt a crummy Arab one?

  10. avatar Josef says:

    Please, NO Indonesians should ever feel any inferiority to Arabs.

  11. avatar Andrew says:

    Anything Arabic is good, and everything Western is bad.

    Duh…

  12. avatar Miss Indo 07 says:

    yes,,dont let Bush come!! but please let Osama bin Laden come,,n all those Muslims will b so happy..

  13. avatar Hassan says:

    what’s the big fuss here folks? west sumatra including padang had a Muslim population of 99%. if almost all of them are Muslims and they want to apply a certain Islamic dress code on themselves, then what’s the big commotion?

    now, if those people wanted to apply the dress code in jakarta, then i can understand your worries.

    it seems to me that some people are trying to stop Muslims from being Islamic. why must we object when some Muslims are trying to be Islamic in every way?

    andrew: “how do they (the authority) tell, if they see a woman walking alone at night, whether or not she is a Muslim”

    i dunno, ID cards??

    Karlira Kanakahuko: “they want to become the most narrow-minded people in the whole universe”

    a saudi Arabian woman like you insults your own race (Arabs)? I don’t think so!

  14. avatar Tomaculum says:

    I think West Sumatra is (still) a part of Republik Indonesia and as I know Indonesia is (still) a secular democratic State with Panca Sila as the basic motto.
    So I think this secularity should be practice in West Sumatra too independent from the majority.
    If the Moslems and Muslimahs in West Sumatra and in the other provinves in Indonesia with Islam majority want to live under the Islam law, then they should do it, but such laws doesn’t belong to governmental formation.
    Because the endangerment is real, that people from other believes will be directly or indirectly (and intentionally or unintentionally) constrained to “join” the live under this law (so not only to respect it, but to live it too!).
    This is in fact like establishing a state in a state, which law counts higher? In case of doubt, which law will be practiced/used?
    If the government tolerates this in West Sumatra, what about the other provinces with Islam majority?

  15. avatar Saintaro Crown says:

    West Sumatra is definitely part of Indonesia, no doubt in it. Stupid knows that.
    Indonesia is not a secular nor relegious state. A newly constituted autonomious regulation have made possible for a cities to regulate theirs.
    This elected Padang Mayor has regulated their school students with wearing a veil, have a right to do so. What is our right to judge him do a right or wrong thing ?
    Confuse with majority ?

  16. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Oh, thanks Saintaro. I wasn’ t sure that West Sumatra is definitely (still) a part of Indonesia.
    Maybe someone can tell me the definition of the autonomy regulation in Indonesia (is it a full autonomy or just a partial one? Just a stupid question, sorry.

  17. avatar Saintaro Crown says:

    Autonomy as signed by Indonesian President and Parlement in law UU No.32 th 2004 is not a full autonomy, some still hold by central government a.k.a Jakarta. It’s including as stated in that law is “RELIGION”.
    If we see wearing veil is a matter of religion (don’t push the opinion), on contrary Padang Mayor see it as a social culture society matter which is in article 22 in that law is a fully right of Mayor to regulate their society. In order to not collide with the ‘religion’ matter, he did not implement that to all women, but only to his governmental officer and students in the city, and of course not to Christian.
    With this, no law he broke.
    Finally you can f*** him as you wish, but to show what quality you have on Indonesian matter.

  18. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Saintaro:
    Do you really believe, the Padang Mayor enforced the dress code and see it as just as a social culture matter? What about the other “laws”, f.e. that women are not allowed to go out at night unaccompanied? (Is that also just for Muslimahs? Then the “law” or the regulation has to declare it clearly!).

    Let’s see: if a Muslimah go out at night unaccompanied, will she be persecuted? Isn’t it a constriction of her right to decide herself what to do? I think such regulations are not compatible with a democracy. Or does the Padang Mayor believe he has to protect the “weak gender”.

    As I understand it, every Muslimah is affected by this regulation, independently she like to subordinate herself or not. One more argument, that such laws are not compatible to the basic democratic law of Indonesia, isn’t it? Or do the Padang Mayor very sure, that every Muslimah greets this laws enthusiastically? Then he should hear what FitriyantI said.
    What about the female scholars (see above, I don’t know if they are Muslimahs or not, but I think its not important in this case), who are afraid of punishment if they don’t wear the veil? Do you think its just a paranoia of those girls?

    At last, Saintaro, we don’t talk about the quality of “Indonesia matter”, are we? Off course there are some “commentators” who just spreading hate and anger, but isn’t it a kind of democracy?

  19. avatar Josef says:

    Where the Koran does it say that Women have to wear veils over their faces?
    I can’t find it.

    ——

    Maybe a good Muslim can answer this for me. I think Hassan would be able to.

    Why do you have to copy Arab stuff: Names, Clothes, language, Manners, culture, etc. to be a Muslim? Does God only like Arab stuff? I for one, don’t really like anything Arab. They have a pretty ugly culture in my opinion.
    I don’t mean to be funny, but I don’t get it.

  20. avatar Saintaro Crown says:

    Tomac,
    It doesn’t matter with what I believe, but as stated in initial post “Adat Basandi Syarak, Syarak Basandi Kitabullah (Tradition based on religion, religion based on the Quran.” says Budiman, member of Comission D… and from what I see on TV Show when Fauzi defend his stand toward several person in panel anti to the law, apparently all of them are Jakarta citizen, obviously is a matter of Sosio-Cultural.
    Another one, I dont know, may be it’s all about security of a citizen at night, never about religion, since it will offend a central government authority as stated in Autonomy Laws.
    It is interesting to see your ‘every’ in bold font, like you can absorb all Padang women feeling on that laws and reflect it as you did. Fitriyanti is one who complained. Does she speaks for all. Me, I just wait for next election to see whether the Mayor will be greeted or kicked.
    Never heard punishment yet on the law breech.
    Anyway I appreciated democracy they implemented.

  21. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Saint,
    if you read my comment carefully, you will find out, that I wrote “as I understand it, every Muslimah is affected by this regulation, …..”.
    It is just a try to logical thinking: if that is a regulation based on Islam teaching, then this is directed to every Muslimah, isn’t it? How the Muslimahs and the rest of the women in Padang think, I don’t know and I think nobody will know it really.
    Off course Fitriyanti doesn’t speak for all Muslimahs in Padang, this is a simple fact doesn’t need to discuss, is it? But I think she is not alone.
    The result of an election doesn’t representate all of the citizen, but of the majority. That is democracy, but in a democracy, the government has to consider the needs and the problems of the minority too.

  22. avatar Anonymous_aloy says:

    Hasan: “…it seems to me that some people are trying to stop Muslims from being Islamic….”

    No, Hassan. What people are trying to do is:
    – stop Padang from becoming the backwater of Indonesia
    – stop Indonesian Muslims from being Arabic
    – stop Indonesian Muslims from being exclusive
    – stop Indonesian Muslims from being stuck in the Middle Ages
    – stop Indonesia from being a sectarian country

    Come on Hassan, show us a single sentence in Koran saying Muslims has to dress like an Arab. Show us!

    More importantly, tell us why dressing like Arabs is more important than tackling issues such as domestic assault, equal rights for women, and corruption. Shouldn’t the Padang government be focusing on these things instead?

  23. avatar Karlira Kanakhuko says:

    I aggree with anonymous-aloy. Hassaan maybe the pro-Sharia boy. Very obvious that Hassan supports Arabic law. We Saudis are against that kind of law making Indonesia to be the same as my country! This is an insult to me!

  24. avatar JKS says:

    Karlira. I guess this is what people mean ‘padang bengkok’, trying to be more Arab than Arabian, Hassan for example.

  25. avatar Ami says:

    Anonymous_aloy, people in padang is not trying to dressing like Arabs. What they do is, trying to apply Islamic Law.

  26. avatar Kevin says:

    I have lived in West Sumatra for one and a half years. The law regarding woman unaccompanied at nights is not enforced, in fact most minang (West Sumatran) people I know don’t know that’s the law.

  27. avatar KVBC says:

    I read today(01/10/2009) that a powerful earth quake devastated Panang. I think the Indonesians should go back to their dharmic religions (viz., Hinduism, buddhism etc.,) and spread all areas with temples, Mantras, Thantras, Ashrams, Yoga centres, homas, Yagas etc., to save the lands from devastations. See what happened to Aceh where sharia was implemented. Now the Padang. I am 100% sure that the real Gods/Goddesses are punishing them severely time and again with catastrophes like earth quakes, tsunamis, wars etc., Wake up and practice the dharmic religions. It is not late.Better start now than after perishing.

  28. avatar Amjid says:

    KVBC – dharmic religeons will not save you from tsunamis, earthquakes or any natural disaster in actual fact they will not save you from anything. How can any Idol save you from anything. If implementation of sharia law was a crime and natural disasters were punishments, then mosques would not remain standing with destruction all around them like the last tsunami. Natural disasters could be expiation from punishment in the hereafter, or a particular test or trial. Islamic monotheism does not mean practice and you wont be tested, muslims await their reward in the hereafter and are commanded to be steadfast and patient in trial, adversaries and tests. People seem to have a problem with sharia law or whoever wants to practice it freely, which is understandable if you consider sharia law commands equality, decency, democracy, modesty, greedlesness and sets out a code of living which is contrary to capitlism, consumerism, matirialism and any other ism which suppresses the human intellect from realising the true purpose of life or from living in peace and harmony. Paganism of dharmic religeons withold the human intellect from realising the uselessness of their practices and from comprehending true Godliness. This is the very reason hinduism, buddhism e.t.c can not be related to contemporary times whilst Sharia Law and Islam can be practiced 1400 years ago 500 years ago 1000s years later and now due to the very fact it reasons with human intellect if one ponders over the creation, history present state and natural environment of humankind.

  29. avatar Frank says:

    In my Opinion, the central government is just too passive to intervene with the social n culturual issues of Padang. I believe that not any one state should has the authority to govern its citizen while disregarding the rights and interests of minorities. By issuing islamic based laws on its people is a sign that the state government is afraid of the minorities, subsequently leaving the minorities crushed before unfair discriminatory rules and no chances of act of democracy on their part. It is really saddening this is the trend now in several regions of Indonesia.

  30. avatar no syariah says:

    To Padang society who love Islamic Law : it is time for you to rethink your stinky ideology it has been since 2006 and until today God Allahu Akbar has been condemning you and as your 2009 Hari Raya gift , he sent 7.6 richter earthquake to those who sin against Him.
    From now on, there is no need to strictly follow on your fanatic ideology because it is nothing, your Allah did not safe you from the natural disaster, inface He will sent a bigger disaster coming soon.
    Live your life as a normal muslim is good enough because you are Indonesian, you are not ARAB, this arabic Ideology is the root cause of your fate – disaster.

    Wassalam,
    I will not donate my money to those who strictly implements Syariah Law, it is haram for me

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