Friday Prayers & Selling Food

Feb 27th, 2006, in News, by

One small step at a time the administration of Tangerang, a satellite city of Jakarta, seeks to implement sharia law. The latest foray in this area sees the local government attempt to ban the selling of food during Friday prayers.

The reports suggest that the ruling will apply only to kaki lima which are food carts that sell all sorts of drenched in oil fare, sometimes mobile, somtimes semi-permanent roadside fixtures. There is no mention of indoor places being affected. The mayor of Tangerang says:

Wer’e going to establish a regulation which will be put to the local parliament that forbids food sellers from trading while Friday prayers are going on. (Kita akan membuatkan suatu aturan dengan mengajukan ke DPRD setempat bahwa pedagang kaki lima tidak diperkenankan berjualan saat sholat Jumat berlangsung di wilayah ini)

He said that the measure would be done to enable a high moral standard in the city, to increase the practise of Islam. He added that before the measure became law there would need to be preparation and punishments would have to be agreed upon for transgressors, and he also said that he had already gained informal approval from several members of parliament.

Kaki Lima
Kaki Lima, roadside food stalls.

What the foodstall vendors are supposed to do while they are waiting for prayers to be finished is unclear, twiddle their thumbs perhaps, but more likely this is a preparatory measure to eventually make Friday prayers compulsory for all Muslims in the city, as has occured in Aceh where those who miss three Friday prayers in a row are, theoretically only so far, subject to public caning.

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