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

    » 02/20/2010, 00.00


    Jakarta taxes marriages with foreigners: 50 thousand dollars to marry Indonesian women

    Mathias Hariyadi

    The law aims to "protect" wives and children in cases of abandonment. The bill is supported by the Indonesian Council of Ulema and the money will be paid to Islamic banks. However, it does not apply to foreign women married to Indonesians.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Foreigners will have to pay at least 500 million Indonesian rupiah - about 50 thousand dollars - to marry a woman of the archipelago. The sum of money, payable to one of Islamic banks in the country, will serve to "protect" wives and children in divorce cases. This is spelled out in a bill currently before Parliament and strongly supported by the powerful Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). The norm, however, does not apply to the Indonesian men who marry foreign women.

    After the controversy that erupted in recent days about the proposal to punish unmarried couples and polygamy, although permitted in Islam, with prison and fines, comes another provision intended to provoke a fierce debate in Indonesia. The goal, explains the signatories of the Act, is to "ensure" a financial income to women and children, where the husband wishes to separate.  

    Mixed marriages between Indonesian women and foreign men - mainly from the Middle East - have become common practice in the country. Even in the entertainment world, including among soap-opera actresses and pop singers, there are numerous examples. According to the bill the money is to be paid "to an Islamic bank" - the Syariah banks - and "will be given to the women should the husband abandon his wife and children for unspecified reasons."  

    The amount, says the text, shall be withdrawn only at the time of separation and help to ensure the survival of the family and children until they reach the 21st birthday. However, the law does not apply in cases of mixed marriages between Indonesian men and foreign women. In this case, the husband is not obliged to pay money and the wife is left to defend herself.  

    Amidan Kiai Hajj, head of the MUI, is among the bill’s strongest supporters, because it ensures "the welfare of wife and child in case of divorce." The Muslim leader's comment relates to the series of "ugly incidents" that have occurred recently in Borneo (Kalimantan). Many Indonesians have married foreign workers in the agricultural and industrial sectors, who - once they lost their jobs – return to their countries of origin, leaving their families "without any funds to ensure the survival of." He stressed that the money "should be paid to Islamic banks."

    The bill has already met with considerable criticism, particularly among women from the world of showbiz. Julia Perez – a soap-opera actress - who previously dated a Frenchman and is now engaged to an Argentine, said she was "shocked" by the rule being considered by Parliament which she defines as "controversial". An opinion shared by actress Feby Febiola (pictured), married to a Frenchman. Different the opinion of Ruhut Sitompul, of the governing Democrat Party, who supports a law "designed to protect women and children from harmful actions of the [foreigner] father."

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    See also

    09/03/2011 ISLAM – ALGERIA
    Muslim lawyer defends women’s rights
    Based on Islamic law and tribal traditions, Algerian law discriminates against women in terms of marriage, children’s custody and education, divorce and more. Here is an in-depth analysis by an expert.

    16/02/2010 INDONESIA
    Jakarta: ulemas and government agree on prison and fines for common law couples
    Common law and polygamous couples could get up to three months in jail and fines of up to US$ 535,000. Religious Affairs Ministry drafts bill, backed by powerful Ulemas Council. Whilst legal in Islam, polygamy is seen as “bad” and a sign of selfishness.

    18/01/2010 INDONESIA
    East Java: fatwa against fancy women’s hairdos and pre-marital photos
    Fancy perms and photo albums made before marriage are ‘haram’, i.e. contrary to Islamic religion and morality. Two East Java educational institutions issue the ruling in order to preserve the “purity” of customs. Indonesia’s Ulema Council describes the fatwa as “exaggerated”.

    04/11/2015 INDONESIA
    Indonesian Minister: Catholics, an example to follow in preparation for marriage and family
    Speaking at a national conference sponsored by the bishops, the Head of the Minister for Religious Affairs welcomes the example and the values of Catholics. The Church shows the "great competency" in preparing the wedding and can also serve as an example to Muslims. Diversity a source of wealth.

    10/10/2014 INDONESIA - VATICAN
    Synod: the Church of Indonesia looks at guidelines to better prepare couples
    Marriage, divorce and the future of the family future are some of the topics discussed at a three-day conference in the Diocese of Makassar. Participants expect the Synod in Rome to provide guidelines for better training of priests since they will be called to guide couples. Pre-marriage courses are important and must be improved to strengthen the union between future spouses in accordance with the "Catholic model."

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