In a bid to implement Islamic Sharia law to the letter, Indonesia's West Aceh district has started giving away long, loose skirts to cover up Acehnese women caught wearing tight jeans.
The westernmost province of Aceh on Sumatra is the sole upholder of sharia law in the predominantly Muslim, but secular Indonesia. The previous local parliament passed a controversial law in September allowing adulterers to be stoned to death.
Wilayatul Hisbah, the Aceh sharia police force, has been conducting raids on unmarried couples caught together as well as gamblers and drinkers. Today, it set up road blocks to search cars and buses for women wearing tight trousers.
Offenders were taken away to a security post and their details recorded. They were briefed on sharia law and instructed to put on one of the 20,000 long skirts the local government ordered from tailors in Jakarta. Offenders were also asked to sign an agreement not to repeat the offence.
West Aceh Regent Ramli Mansyur said the regulation was introduced because he was "embarrassed that the fashion in Aceh has become too open".
The sharia police will spend several months educating locals about the new law. After August, offenders could face a week in jail, Mr Mansyur said.
Although most women were obliging to the clothing swap, some were not too happy.
One 40-year-old housewife said she was enraged when the sharia police stopped her while she was riding a motorbike and asked her to change into a skirt.
"I know I am wearing jeans, but I have a long top, and I don't look like a man, and my jeans are loose," she told the officers, while trying to put on a skirt she had prepared in her bag on top of her jeans.
"Are jeans forbidden by religion?" she said. "I think we can't judge someone's heart from the clothes she wears, because even if she is wearing covered clothes, is it a guarantee that she is a devout Muslim? Look at the mosques, they are empty," she said.
Aceh, on the far western tip of the Indonesian archipelago, is sometimes referred to as the "verandah of Mecca" because the staunchly Muslim province was one of the first parts of the country to turn to Islam.
Since when has it become okay to lift an entire article and reproduce it here? A paragraph is okay maybe under fair use, but a cut and paste of the whole thing seems a bit unfair to the original source.
Isn't it more appropriate to link to the original article, so they at least get the traffic from their content.
Of course if you are the author, or you have express permission to reproduce it, ignore the above.
Outrageous, but true. there are certain Christian denominations that impose this "standard" on their members, forbidding women to wear 'clothing of a man', or slacks. It even forbids the cutting of woman's hair! So you see, it is happening in all religions.
The desensitization works, I was in the US a few years back and my friends insisted on going to a "tittie" bar every night for a whole month... after the third night the boobs were getting in the way of the sports channel.... lol
I swear sometimes it feels like Christians and Muslims are going out of their way to make sure that, no matter what happens, no matter how the majority of people just want to live lives in peace, left alone and leaving others alone, they're going to force their religions on people who don't want it and create anger and fury in people and, ultimately, make sure we get to that apocalypse prophesy religionists all seem hell bent on self-fulfilling.
At least they don't have to cover head to foot in an abaya as the women here in Saudi Arabia have to, even the men here have to uphold decency, no bare chests and no shorts showing the knees and above...
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