02/15/2010, 00.00
Send to a friend

Aerobics contrary to Islam, promotes lust, Sumatra Islamic leader says

by Mathias Hariyadi
Ulema chief in Palembang says exercises and garments worn by women are haram. Clothing is too provocative and leads men astray. Women respond saying the Ulema organisation lacks arguments when it tries to address the “problems raised in modern society.”
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – “Sexy attire” used by women during aerobics class is “against the spirit of Islam,” said the Indonesian Islamic Ulemas Council (MUI) in Palembang, South Sumatra province.  The statement comes only a few weeks after the agency in charge of public morality and the defence of Islamic values had issued a similar fatwa concerning hairdos and pre-marital photos. In its recent pronouncement, it targeted sexy outfits that “provoke lust in men.”

For the MUI, it is wrong especially for young women to wear “improper” garments during aerobic exercises in gyms or in the open air, because of their effect on men.

Aerobic exercises early in the morning, especially during weekends, have become a regular activity for thousands of women of all ages.

Kiai Hajj Sodikun, MUI leader in Palembang, said women should wear more chaste clothing so as not to arouse men. Because of this, unduly sexy gym suits or physical exercises and movements that excite men “should be considered haram (morally illicit)”.

Mr Kiai does acknowledge the importance of physical exercises for human health, but insists that they must be practiced with the appropriate clothing.

The main problem is that no one knows with any certainty what garment or exercise is illicit and what is not. In many Indonesian provinces, there are many traditional dances and body movements, different from one to the other.

“Such views are a very poor argument,” gym teacher Herlina told AsiaNews. “What about women wearing bikini at the beach or whilst swimming?” Jakarta resident Maria asks. “The MUI seems to be short of arguments to address problems raised in modern society,” she added.

Founded in1975 by then President Suharto, the MUI has grown powerful over the years in the areas of morality and behaviour; it has been able to issue guidelines on its own on what constitute licit or illicit attitudes, customs and habits.

Its members act as if they and they alone held the power to define how Islam must be respected and its principles upheld. Over the years, its fatwas over clothing, smoking, fashion and traditions deeply rooted in the archipelago’s history and culture have been controversial.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Catholic music to promote dialogue in Ambon, the city of sectarian violence
17/10/2018 13:29
East Java: fatwa against fancy women’s hairdos and pre-marital photos
Indonesian police: Ulema hide extremist movements that want to divide the country
17/01/2017 13:43
Jakarta, wave of fatwas against transsexuals, temporary marriages, gossip and sperm bank
Indonesian Ulema tell Muslims that dressing up as Santa Claus is prohibited
16/12/2016 15:12


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”