Creeping Sharia Draws Protests

Feb 1st, 2006, in News, by

Creeping sharia in Indonesian draws protests.

While at a national level in Indonesia laws are generally of a secular nature, at the provincial level an increasing number of sharia based ordinances have been promulgated in recent years, principally in the towns of Padang in West Sumatra, Cianjur in West Java, Bulukumba in South Sulawesi, and Pamekasan on the island of Madura in East Java.

Such laws are usually targeted against women, gamblers, and drinkers. While laws against gambling and alcohol can be argued to not necessarily emanate from sharia principles alone the restrictions of female dress have drawn the most protests since these are a clear violation of the 2004 law on Regional Autonomy which specifically prohibits local authorities from issuing religious laws.

Indra J. Piliang, of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said that the 2004 law gave the government the power to quash local regulations if they contravened national laws or the Constitution, and attributed the government’s inaction to fear of offending religious groups or of inflaming conflicts.

Some other recent comments on the issue from lawmakers and other interested parties include:

The former regional autonomy minister Ryaas Rasyid said that the central government should be more active in enforcing the law and determining if the regulations were illegal. He made particular mention of laws requiring women, even non-Muslims, to wear headscarves, saying such laws should be abolished forthwith.

He also said:

If the local rulings only regulate the banning of gambling and liquor and not implement all Islamic laws, I don’t think they defy the law.

Andi Yuliani Paris of the National Mandate Party, a basically Islamist party but with a formally secular platform, said:

Regulation that divide religious groups will sharpen the potential for conflict.

She also said that judicial review or a class action suit could be filed against local administrations that violated the law in their issuance of regulations.

Abdul Moqsith Ghazali of the Liberal Islam Network opined thus:

Why do local administrations think they have the right to punish women for not wearing headscarves?

and added that the Koran does not provide any punishment for women who fail to dress modestly.

The law in Indonesia is a peculiar, nebulous sort of thing. So often laws are made with no real expectation that they will ever be enforced, they seem to be mere statements of intent, many are widely ignored. As well conflicts between laws are also often not resolved and fester for years. We suspect that the recent sharia laws by regional administrations fall into the categories above however some effort needs to be made to correct them before they become entrenched, and before they become ubiquitous, and even worse, are taken seriously.

4 Comments on “Creeping Sharia Draws Protests”

  1. LarryConley says:

    I suggest Bleach… antibiotics, pop music (shudder), and a free press… kills it dead.

  2. Terry Irawan says:

    I like a drink, I like a woman and beutiful girl with naked……but we must be right “it’s singer not the song” it means no woman no cry…and then we fight between two lover….ah ah ah, let’s go funny don’t be serious live in Indonesia..just think and earn money so much…and then go to hell for your boss…bye

  3. Teguh Irawan says:

    Do you know a pizza, I think talking about this matter like make a pizza in some cafe and then some young girls and boys come in, and say: give me one and I can do it, do you know what I mean (100% sold-06-06-06).

  4. LarryConley says:

    Faith is a wonderful thing and a great source of comfort and empowerment for those who have it.
    Religion (and I mean any religion espically those with Temporal power) is the cause of more human suffering then every disease that ever was.

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