Trousers off for Women

May 26th, 2010, in News, by

The wearing of trousers, jeans, or any tight clothing becomes illegal for women in West Aceh.

West Aceh (Aceh Barat) regency in the province of Aceh in trailblazing fashion has become the first administrative area to ban Muslim women from wearing any type of tight clothing, specifically jeans/pants/trousers.

Jilbab hot

While in other parts of Aceh, where Islamic sharia law is fitfully and gradually being introduced, women are only required to at least cover their head hair and not to flaunt their womanly shapes, West Aceh has seized the day in specifically banning jeans.

Sharia Raid

Roadblocks and patrols will be carried out, with the local government preparing 20,000 long flowing skirts to be distributed to women caught in violation of the law. Offenders will be required to change into the skirts on the spot, with their jeans being confiscated.

Offenders will also have their names taken down, and on their third offence will be taken into detention.

Under the new law, coming into force on 26th May 2010, shops and traders will also be forbidden from selling women’s jeans and trousers.

Regent Ramli Mansyur admits the regulation is controversial, but that it is a necessary part of the application of Islamic law.

As a leader I have to implement this law because in the hereafter I will be held responsible for my actions on Earth, and I will be held responsible by society.

He says, in a democratic spirit, that all elements of society support the new law, in majority terms. okezone

265 Comments on “Trousers off for Women”

  1. madrotter says:

    i’d say robber baron republic is a pretty accurate description

  2. realest says:

    Indonesia is a land of opportunities, that’s why(unless there’s a holocaust) the chinese minority is here to stay. a lot of untapped potential waiting for money to be invested and the myth of “you’ve to bribe to be rich” is busted.

    If i’ve a choice, i’ll run a business in indonesia and stay in singapore. i don’t care much about free press because we’re all sheeps anyway and best of all we don’t even know it !! i dont mind giving up chewing gum or being confined to smoking only in my own home, it’s compensated by all the other advantages; it’s safe, it’s clean everywhere and it has a clear system. If i want a perfect world, i’ll go into the drug trade and hopefully be rich enough one day to buy my own island. There i’m king, president and pope all at the same time.

  3. Odinius says:

    I think Indonesia is actually pretty successful as a developing world democracy. The system appears pretty stable, elections happen regularly and without a great deal of instability, the military has been pushed out of politics, the economy is growing at a steady and robust clip and the state has managed to several of its worst problems–terrorism, ethnic and religious rioting, etc. There’s still a long, long way to go, but I think this compares favorably with, say, the Philippines or Thailand.

  4. diego says:

    Agree with Odin.

    Only one thing: those goaties.

    I hope our nationalistic TNI will kill them all (one way or another), expel those skewed-noseds (i.e.: arabs), and cut down any ties with sheik-your-banana-countries (i.e.: arabs), and I’ll be a happy man.

    Ala ala ala ala, huuuu, wakbuar!

  5. Oigal says:

    I think Indonesia is actually pretty successful as a developing world democracy.

    Despite some hopeful signs at local level with a large number (forget the actual %) local representatives not getting re-elected after failing to address the issues of the people they are supposed to represent. I still have trouble thinking of Indonesia as a democracy. Taking the assumption that a prime directive of democracy is to represent and aspirations of the people then it is hard to accept the description of democracy as what is happening here. I do confess not really sure what to call it.

    I would offer up Sri being forced out, Lapindo various non elected and primarily and “directed” violent pressure groups being able subvert the will of the people whilst the government is complict or at best an inept bystander in such matters.

    Having said that, my actual points were, I maintain Indonesia/ns are no more corrupt than the next nation, it just that here the risk of exposure is far less and rewards far far greater. A functioning robust press is esstential to democracy.

    A note of joy and celebration was to read yesterday the the Editor of Tempo told the Bakrie Clan to shove his obnoxious and tainted award. I refuse to believe a functioning democracy could co-exist with the likes of that man as a Minister.

  6. Odinius says:

    We’re not talking Finland here, but It’s quite democratic, and quite stably so, by developing world standards. It’s a work in progress, but I think the country has made massive strides in the past decade, and compares favorably with SEA’s other developing+democratic experiments. But yes, those incidents do highlight on-going problems that need to be sorted.

  7. ET says:

    @ timdog

    Thanks for the history lesson last week. I’ve heard it all before. Nonetheless my favorite hero still remains Charles Martel (Charles the ‘Hammer’) who defeated in 732 Abd al-Rahman, governor of Córdoba, in the Battle of Tours and managed to turn back the Muslim onslaught from within Islam-occupied Spain, a reality your history lesson conveniently overlooks. The battle itself may have been only a series of small engagements, but after it there were no more great Muslim invasions of Frankish territory.

    @ Odinius

    Blanket fear and demonization of all Islam and all Muslims is a common feature of Western history, and its modern manifestation really dates to the Iranian Revolution in 1979. After September 11, a lot of other prejudices–Arabophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment–refocused on Islam.

    It is true that after September 11 ant-immigrant sentiment refocused on Islam. Every country in Europe has a different mix of immigrants, each with their specific pecularities and willingness to integrate. The difficulties in France had everything to do with Algerian nationalism and not with Islam. Belgium had a long history of rather successful immigration, mostly Italians and Spanyards who came to work in the coal mines, so Islam wasn’t in the picture. Only when Maroccans started to arrive en masse anti-immigrant sentiments took hold, not because of Islam but because they were reported to abuse the welfare system. About Germany (majority of Turkish immigrants), UK (with its specific historical burdens with Pakistan) and other countries I can’t speak from experience but before the turn of the century I never heard of major problems directly related to Islam.

    But everything changed after September 11 because it gave a boost and momentum to pan-islamic ideas, not only in islamic countries (Indonesia included) but also among immigrant Arab and Maghreb communities in Western Europe. After that islamic dresscode became gradually more visible and prominent.
    Denying the link between islamization and dresscode is either being blind or conveniently looking the other way.

    That’s why I think all these radicals really just want to have group sex with each other.

    Group sex with burqa-chicks? Sounds kinky, but no, thank you, I’m not that radical.

  8. timdog says:


    I’ve heard it all before.

    So why on earth did you make the ludicrous claim that western Islamophobia never existed until the rise of modern jihadi Islamism?

    You talk about me “conveniently” not talking about Muslim Spain, implying that to have addressed it would somehow have undermined my argument. I fail to see the logic; my “history lesson” was simply an outlining of historical “western” imaginative and intellectual reactions to Islam; nothing whatsoever to do with the history of Islam itself, and certainly not the boring old “good-bad, Islam-West” example-fest.

    However, I would point out that, given your inflexible starting point of “Islam is uniquely bad”, you, not I, might be the one who should “conveniently” avoid mention of Spain.
    That period of history in the Eurasian landmass was all about storming in and out of other peoples’ territory, establishing empires, overturning them, and doing Very Bad Things.
    But late-period Moorish Spain is (with a certain degree of oversimplification of course) very regularly pointed out as perhaps the apex of admirable Muslim society, an era of high culture, religious tolerance and multiculturalism. The centuries following the Reconquista, by contrast, constitute a spectacularly nasty episode of very specifically Christian intolerance, brutality and horror…
    You’re the one who brought it up, not me…

  9. ET says:


    But late-period Moorish Spain is (with a certain degree of oversimplification of course) very regularly pointed out as perhaps the apex of admirable Muslim society, an era of high culture, religious tolerance and multiculturalism.

    I’ve heard it all before.

    If it was the apex of admirable Muslim society, an era of high culture, religious tolerance and multiculturalism then why weren’t they welcome in the rest of Europe? Could it be that not everybody was waiting to embrace dhimmitude?

    The centuries following the Reconquista, by contrast, constitute a spectacularly nasty episode of very specifically Christian intolerance, brutality and horror…

    But which in turn led to the Renaissance, Enlightment, Emancipation and the further evolution of civilization while those staying under islam’s influence got stuck in navel-gazing, Koran recitations and intellectual immobility.

    So why on earth did you make the ludicrous claim that western Islamophobia never existed until the rise of modern jihadi Islamism?

    I had said the ‘word’ or ‘term’ Islamophobia – not the disgust for this totalitarian ideology which is as old as the times it began to spread – became commonplace in the last years, especially among those who consider themselves Islamophiles and who refuse to see, for whatever reasons, the political reality of what Islam has stood for since it was concocted by some wannabe prophet with conquest and looting on his mind.

  10. timdog says:

    Well, it is apparent that you at least realise that your very silly attempt to claim that Islamophobia “didn’t exist” before modern Jihadi Islamism was – well, very silly. It would be nice if you just acknowledged that and moved on instead of twisting wildly like a hooked fish and attempting to claim that all you were actually talking about was the word!
    Just to remind you – you said “Sorry, but Islamic militancy preceded Islamophobia by a long stretch” in the context of attempting to explain – and, it seems, justify – the rise of Geert Wilders and his repugnant ilk as pure reaction to “the Muslims” rather than something that already existed and which has merely cannily “rebranded” to tap into a broader sense of (possibly partly justified) unease far beyond the miniscule fringe of truly ugly extremism which is its true constituency.

    ET, we all say stupid things without thinking them through in the heat of an argument; that’s what you did here. Wriggling doesn’t make you look any better.

    On the subject of saying stupid things – why didn’t developmentally stagnated, religiously conservative/fanatical and politically fractious Northern Europe smilingly open their doors to the Moors? Dunno, ET; why do most people throughout history resist foreign invasion? My guess, however, is that it wasn’t because they’d all been carefully perusing their downloaded printouts of “The Law of Mohammad the Pseudo-Prohpet” for definitive scriptural evidence that his religion was particularly wicked, or watching hilarious “Mahound the Pedophile” skits on Youtube…

    And as for your “the outrages of post-Reconquista Spain paved the way for all that’s good” argument. Um… I think the direct causal links between the Spanish Inquisition and the Enlightenment are probably less obvious than those between the annihilation of the Native Americans and the horrors of the slave trade and the rise of the “world’s greatest democracy”. So do we like them too?
    You’ll get your hands very dirty with that line of argument.

    Your problem, ET, is your fanatical adherence to your idea that “Islam” – and ergo all “Muslims” – is uniquely so much worse than everything else. Adopting a dogmatic, inflexible ideological standpoint like that (and you could just as easily replace “Islam” with, say, “communism”, “America”, “the West” or “all religion”) makes rational, careful case-by-case judgements difficult, and often leads to a chronic case of yes but-ism.

    Committed Islamophobes tend to suffer terribly from yes but-ism.
    It goes like this: present them with an irrefutable case of, for example, Christians/Hindus/Jews/Atheists doing something spectacularly awful entirely in the name of and motivated by their religion, and the reply comes back “Yes but you must understand the context/it was an understandable response to provocation/those people represent the lunatic fringe/that was 200 years ago/look, all those people burnt at the stake led to the Renaissance!”.
    Then present them with a lax, non-practicing Muslim stealing a chicken and “YOU SEE! YOU SEE! They’re evil! All of them!”
    Very silly indeed.

    It also leads to them getting in a muddle and assuming that people like Odinius and me who might take issue with their wrong-headed dogmatism must, therefore, be great supporters of regressive Islamist idiocy and suicide bombs. Also very silly. If you look carefully you’ll notice that Odinius and I are every bit as averse to aggressive Islamisation as you are; we’re just able to handle the topic without the gross oversimplification and reductive hostility to a vast and diverse swathe of humanity purely on the grounds of the religion to which they nominally belong.

    Right, I’m off, going fishing…

  11. ET says:


    Your problem, ET, is your fanatical adherence to your idea that “Islam” – and ergo all “Muslims” – is uniquely so much worse than everything else.

    I give up. If you adamantly want to put words in my mouth or keyboard that weren’t there, whatever I say or do will be just be a futile attempt to divert your personal biases and preconceptions regarding people who don’t share your views or sympathies (or antipathies – does hinduism ring a bell?).
    Nevertheless here’s one last attempt. Where have I stated that ‘all’ muslims are so much worse than everything else? Feel free to quote from whatever post I made in IM. The fact, timdog, is that I pity most Muslims for having had the bad luck of being born in places infested with the mindnumbing ideology called Islam. The only thing attractive about Islam – and I have had several personal testimonies from muslims about this – is that it is an easy to understand religion that doesn’t need elaborate thinking or personal investigation. Everything is in the Koran, once and for all, and no other prophet or scholar will be allowed to make amendments. What more do you want? The faithful will go to paradise, the rest will be doomed. Only navel-gazing and rehashing the words of a 7th century maniac is permitted. Does Ahmaddiyah and JIL ring a bell? However the fact that I pity them will not refrain me from pointing out the nefarious effects this ideology may cause for susceptible people, nor let those who believe it is their godgiven duty to have the whole world submit – isn’t that the true meaning of the word Islam? – have it their way.

    Right, I’m off, going fishing…

    Good luck. I hope your bait has more substance than your arguments.

  12. diego says:

    @timdog: maybe it’s fun playing devil’s advocate. but are you sure you aren’t entrenched in your own game?

  13. Odinius says:

    ET said:

    I’ve heard it all before.

    If it was the apex of admirable Muslim society, an era of high culture, religious tolerance and multiculturalism then why weren’t they welcome in the rest of Europe? Could it be that not everybody was waiting to embrace dhimmitude?

    Of course the European nobles wanted to live under Christian royals. Is that any different from, say, Arab elites in 1945 wanting to live under Arab dictators rather than Western colonial governors? That fact doesn’t mean those dictators were actually “good,” but rather that the dictators served the interests of the elite better than colonial governorship. Same bar applies here, except that there was no “political public” to speak of outside the nobility.

    Now, another important fact to consider: Cordoba’s golden age came about several centuries after Muslim expansion in that part of Europe had stopped. Not only that, it came about at a time when Christian expansion in that part of Europe had begun. So it really wasn’t the Christians who were in danger of being swallowed up by a threatening political regime, but the Muslims and Jews.

    On that note, I need to ask how someone intelligent fails to draw the parallel between the Inquisition and the worst Muslim radicals today. These religious fanatics were the Middle Ages version of the Taliban: intolerant, uncompromising and horribly violent. Shared culture, tolerance and mutual respect among religious groups were threats to their worldview, and those who didn’t follow their religious ideology were viewed as devil-spawn. Just like how the Taliban sees the world.

    So is it really any surprise they’d try to destroy contemporary Europe’s most successful example of religious communities living side-by-side? They did so with spectacular brutality. Just like the Taliban.

    Now, you mention “dhimmitude.” While I find the jizya very problematic by today’s standards, its application in medieval Spain was downright egalitarian when you compare it with how the Inquisition treated the Muslims and Jews it encountered. Here it is, in all its medieval gruesomeness:

  14. Hillary says:

    First I want to say I like Nay and Mono’s comments. Mono fooled me though, I was reading his comment thinking he was a crazy smart guy only to find out it was a Mark Twain quote, very good though, thanks.

    I think it is ridiculous to control what people wear. I’m glad to see the country spending all this money to enforce a stupid law, instead of investing in the infrastructure of the country, or the economy. I think an investment in improving its citizens lives would yield a better return on investment, then buying a bunch of dresses to hand out at road blocks.

  15. diego says:

    I once skimmed through a picture book containing photos & illustrations of various medieval torture-devices. One that I still remember is this statue of bull made of metal. They torture the victim by putting the victim into the statue (it’s hollow inside), and lit a fire below the statue, basically burning the victim inside. The most haunting part: the statue was designed such that the eerie scream of the victim would come out of the bull’s mouth (mooooooo…..). Hiyy syerem. Oh, that was catholic, right?

  16. realest says:

    guns don’t kill people, people kill people

  17. diego says:

    Hi Odin,

    Ah no, sorry, it was not from the inquisition (that bull). It’s the greeks…:

    Anyway the pictures you send me in the link…, eugh…, yikes. That’s evil. Oh yea, I guess all of those tools, I’ve seen them in the book I read. Cheers.

  18. Oigal says:

    the only thing attractive about Islam – and I have had several personal testimonies from muslims about this – is that it is an easy to understand religion that doesn’t need elaborate thinking or personal investigation.

    There are many attractive things about Islam not the least was its commitment to knowledge and the arts during a time of christian ignorance.

    However as most would know, I am not a biggie for “religion” as a whole myself. I would suggest that the vast majority of religions including numerous versions of the Christian creed absolutley depend on a lack of elaborate thinking or personal investigation to survive. To suggest that is a Islam trait alone would seem somewhat blinkered.

    As an related aside, the rise of Islam in Indonesia has always puzzled me a bit as it is indeed a demanding creed and always seems somewhat at odds with the laid-back and open nature of the Indonesian people as whole.

  19. rustyprince says:

    I have to say I was generally positive about the future direction of Indonesia until I chanced upon the often stimulating debates here on IM. A lot of pessimism here people, do you all really feel that Indonesia is as chronically inept as you, WNI included, seem to imply.

    Anyway on the subject of Islamic intolerance Densus88 which must represent the nationalistic majority within the Establishment as had a string of successes and it’s interesting that the elimination of so many of the bearded pious has failed to arouse FPI and similar cohorts.

    Now there must be links between FPI and Laskar Jihad and its spin offs. Going back to the Monas attack on the Ammadia sect, I was very surprised that a Bekasi acquaintance who doesn’t fast, none of whose family wear the hajib or ever attend mosque and I considered 100% secular defended the zealous bearded, without any prompt by me. I then asked were their connections between FPI and LaskarJ and he, becoming embarrassed, said yes.

    Now D88, Indonesia Security Intelligence must, if they’re anyway professional, have heavily influenced such a public bunch of agitators. Maybe the rationale is allow them a degree of freedom so that the dangerously inclined don’t escape the surveillance web. And it seems this is a policy that extends editorially to the media. They exist, put them on the spotlight and let the mass be without any misconceptions to just what these barren desert influenced souls have in store for lush beautiful Indonesia. And well my perception was that TV with its, necessary for Indonesia, diet of sexy soaps, pop jamborees and gorgeous non-hijabed cewe was winning the battle for a pluralistic, tolerant Indonesia.

    Aceh is unfortunately an exception, and for a variety of socio-historical reasons, previous excesses of Suharto, its permitted a certain leeway, but elsewhewre SBY and the nationalists must re-exert the tolerance enshrined in Pancasila. I know a nationalistic Batak gal caught up in that Batak church marginalization in Bekasi and a Catholic family also in Bekasi whose congregation have to rent shopspace for mass. Meanwhile in 90% Christian parts of Minhassa I see there is no objection to new majid. That tolerance would up to now have also extended to Christian dominated parts of North Sumatra and Bataks there don’t distinguish with their saudara in Java. A potential flashpoint?

    Now I mainly follow political/economic debate back in the West, and there the sentiment regarding the future has turned decidedly negative, with some leading think-tanks even predicting the return of wholesale protectionism, which inevitably escalates the risk of inter-state disputes/war. Kaletsky of the London times hinted at this fear after golf-time with the ‘Captains of the Universe’ in Westchester County NY before Murdoch slapped an injunction on such negativity. Well I’m somewhat positive about Indonesia but if the West implodes, globalization halters and Indonesia stumbles, the Bearded Zealous in FPI/PKS will be emboldened to force their agenda onto a national level, which will be resisted by many in Maluku/Batak/Flores. And there will be many able wordsmiths/propagandists from the Christian Right in the West to assist their grievances a la Darfur/Southern Sudan.

    Maybe I’ll become a pessimist too and predict China which has already bought up Papua New Guinea and the mighty USA fighting over the resources of Kalimantan and Eastern Indonesia and a newly recognized govt The Islamic Republic of Java with its capital in the recently renamed Jihadkarta.

  20. rustyprince says:

    Ross surely its time for individuals to be open about their sexuality. My uneasiness is with the closet crew, and I believe their scheming /insecurity is the primary reason for much unhappiness/angst within families, children. Had to laugh when the Indonesia police, gleefully, revealed that Nordin Tops rectum area gave all the signs of many years of extensive pummeling. Maybe Intolerance sent him wrong, and with more enlightenment he could have been a happy banchi singing on the back of the bus

    And for those too busy to read lenghty treatise above – I think I’m saying that the Govt/nationalists are perhaps successfully in a more idiosyncratic approach controlling/curtailing radical Islam. But even though its sometimes unpalatable to westerners can we say that our states’ policies have worked any better.

  21. Odinius says:

    Welcome rustyprince!

    A couple things. First, the West is really in no danger of imploding. People always gripe when the economy is bad. Remember back in the 1980s how many magazine articles and books declared the US and UK finished and Germany and Japan ascendent? Germany has had 10+% unemployment since 2000 and Japan has been in recession since the mid-1990s. Neither has had much impact on world politics either. So you can’t read too much into the whinging of the chattering classes when it comes to economics.

    Second, I agree that the tone on here is often overly pessimistic on Indonesia, and frequently fails to see the big picture, but don’t tar everyone with that brush. I thought I’d been quite optimistic. I think it’s clear that Indonesia is doing rather well, as a democracy, when you compare it to other developing world examples. Certainly when you do so in Asia Tenggara.

  22. fabian says:

    =What about long, loose maxi skirts made with jean ?

    -Will it also be against the law to use other kind of pants ?

    -Why not “decent” jeans, I mean, jean pants that are loose and not tight, like cargo pants of military uniforms with big pockets in the side, over the knees ?

  23. joya says:

    it is a good thing for a muslim woman to wear clothes that are according to islam and clothes that protect them from evil. the purpose of having a dress code like islamic dress code is to eleminate evil thoughts and feelings. it helps the men in society hence gives the weman a value. the value that wemans are humans and that they are not like non-living to misuse from thier beauty. but the other thing really important is that in islam everyone is given the freedom. they are free to be muslim, they are free to believe in islam, or any other religion, they are free to choose anything they want!
    bcz islam gives freedom such importance this law is wrong. islam doesnt force people to do something it just gives them the right option and it is absolutely up to the individual to choose it or not to choose it.
    this law is wrong since it is against islam, in islam everyone is free. real muslims wear islamic clothings bcz they love it bcz they choose to wear it!
    but those who dont wear it is thier choice and in islam this critical! for them to be real muslim they have to choose everything themselves,if they are forced then that is against islam. to be forced to practice islam is against islam!!

  24. The messenger says:

    People should be free to chose what they want to wear.

    Christian and Jewish people can wear whatever they want.

    But the cruel intolerant people of Islam steal other people’s freedom of chose by not allowing people to live the way they want to.

    Islam is an Evil cult of hate and tyranny.’

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