1 December, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 04/24/2008
In Padang, Islamic law is now imposed on all
by Mathias Hariyadi
The controversial local laws inspired by sharia are now being applied to non-Muslim citizens. Female students who do not wear the headscarf are suspended, and few have the courage to rebel, because of fear of reprisals from fundamentalists.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In Padang, capital of the province of West Sumatra, the atmosphere is increasingly that of an Islamic state.  Female students who do not wear the headscarf (hijab) are frequently suspended from school.  The requirement to observe Islamic customs, sanctioned by the controversial regional law of 2005, is also imposed on non-Muslim girls, and has generated an atmosphere of strong pressure on religious minorities.  The proliferation of local laws inspired by sharia (perda syariat) is a growing phenomenon in Indonesia, but the central government has chosen not to intervene for now, in spite of protests from religious minorities and human rights NGO's.

The situation is not limited to Padang alone, where the most active promoter of Islamic laws is the mayor himself, Fauzi Bahar.  In this province, which has an overwhelming Muslim majority, since 2002 more than 19 districts have ratified the so-called "perda syariat", norms that are, however, supposed to be applied only to Muslim citizens: some of them criminalise behaviours prohibited by Islamic law, like adultery, prostitution, games of chance, and consumption of alcohol, while others restrict the freedom of women.  Men as well are required to wear Islamic dress: the traditional white robe called the "koko".

The application of the headscarf law in Padang is going beyond all imaginable limits, the inhabitants of the area say.  An anonymous Catholic young woman admits: "Wearing the headscarf is not pleasant for me at all, and it bothers me while I am studying in school".  Other female students in various schools complain about the same thing.  If they are interviewed by journalists, the young women ask not be named, because they are afraid of "being persecuted by fundamentalists".  "We have to adapt", they say, "we have no choice, otherwise they will send us home". Sudarto, one of the members of a local NGO that works for interreligious dialogue, reports that the headscarf law is applied strictly in at least four schools in Padang.

Other residents report with concern that since 2003 in Padang, mayor Fauzi has moved forward "enthusiastically" the project of "creating a more Islamic atmosphere" in the city.  Among the other norms inspired by sharia, they recall the obligation for students in the elementary schools to learn the Qur'an by heart.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/21/2008 KUWAIT
Two female Kuwaiti ministers risk "dismissal" for not wearing the veil
06/17/2008 IRAN
Women-only park opened in Tehran
06/18/2008 PAKISTAN
Pakistan, no government response to Taliban offensive
03/07/2009 INDONESIA
East Java, policewomen must wear Islamic veil
by Mathias Hariyadi
10/24/2008 TURKEY
European-style reforms save Erdogan from constitutional court ban

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.