Sunday, March 04, 2007

Islamic hard-liners chip away at Indonesia's secular traditions

International Herald Tribune reported Women are jailed for being on the street alone after dark in parts of Indonesia,

Is that against Indonesia law?
long held up as a beacon of moderate Islam. Gamblers are caned as punishment, Christian schoolchildren are forced to wear headscarves
Christian schoolchildren should not be required to follow Muslim dress codes, especially in Indonesia, whose state ideology Pancasila, which promotes multiculturalism and religious harmony.
and a proposed law would sentence thieves to amputation of the hands.

Though most people in the world's most populous Muslim nation practice a tolerant form of the faith, a small but determined group of conservatives are chipping away at the sprawling archipelago's secular traditions and trying to reshape it in the image of orthodox Middle Eastern countries.... On a federal level, hard-liners are pushing an anti-pornography bill that calls for prison terms of up to five years for kissing in public and one year for exposure of a woman's "sensual" body parts, though few expect it to pass in its present form.
I really would not call that pornography, and what is it about Muslims that they can't be expected to control themselves if they see someone kissing, and where a woman's "sensual" body parts includes just about everything except for their eyes. I happen to think a woman's eyes can be very appealing, because they provide insight to her soul. Should they be hidden too, and if so how will they get around?
"I call it creeping Sharia-ization of our society," said Syafi'i Anwar, executive director of the Jakarta-based International Center for Islam and Pluralism, noting that because Muslim groups have done poorly in national elections they are pushing their will through the "back door."
You better resist, or they are going to push complete Sharia law through that back door.
.... "Many people think it's not worthwhile to go against this small, determined group," said Martin van Bruinessen, a longtime Indonesia watcher and the head of the Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World. "They feel they are not directly affected by things taking place. When they discover they are, it may be too late."
Lilis Lindawati, a 36-year-old waitress, is among those who found out the hard way. She was waiting for a bus at 8 p.m. in Tangerang, a city on the outskirts of the Indonesian capital, when public order officers hauled her in because she was alone on the street after dark, was not wearing a headscarf and had a tube of lipstick in her purse. The judge, who heard Lindawati's case at a public trial in the town square last March, said that was enough to prove the mother of two was a prostitute. He sentenced her to three nights in prison.
That does not sound like enough proof to show she is a prostitute.
.... Yudhoyono is afraid of being smeared as anti-Islamic by political opponents and "believes it is better to say nothing," said former President Abdurrahman Wahid, known for his commitment to pluralistic, democratic values." Wahid — and many legal experts — say the Islamic-based laws are clearly illegal under Indonesia's constitution. "Our constitution stresses that government involvement in morality and religious sides of community life should be ceased," he said, adding that it also says "men and women should enjoy the same freedoms."

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