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News and Views: Indonesia

Aceh Prepares to Enforce Broader Sharia Criminal Code, With Stiffer Penalties

May 5, 2015

Sharia police in Indonesia’s westernmost province, Aceh, have begun educating the public about a broadening of the Islamic penal code set to go into effect in October this year. Behaviors punishable under the new regulations – known as Qanun Jinayat – include adultery, rape, sexual harassment, homosexual acts, and falsely accusing others of adultery.

Women's rights in the Indonesian province of Aceh: "The population is being systematically silenced"

April 8, 2015

Azriana Rambe Manalu, 46, and Samsidar, 48, are two of the best-known women in Aceh. In this interview with Christina Schott, they talk about how the introduction of Sharia in Aceh in 2003 has affected society – and women in particular

Indonesian Muslim Hardliners Vow to Stop Miss World

June 7, 2013

Islamic hardliners vowed Thursday to stop the “immoral” Miss World beauty pageant taking place in Indonesia even after organisers agreed this year's contestants would not wear bikinis.

The Hizb ut-Tahrir group slammed the show as like “selling women's bodies”and threatened to hold demonstrations against it, while a group in the province where the final is due to take place also voiced strong opposition.

Indonesia: Tasikmalaya law to make Muslim women wear veils

June 4, 2012

Tasikmalaya, West Java, will soon require all Muslim women, residents and visitors alike, to wear veils to enforce its sharia ordinance.

“We are finalizing a city regulation so that [the 2009 Ordinance on Islamic-based Values of Community Life] can come into effect as soon as possible,” Tasikmalaya City Secretary Tio Indra Setiadi told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

“Hopefully, it will be finalized this month so it can be immediately promulgated.”

Indonesia: Women's rights activists push back against threats to gender equality

May 11, 2012

JAKARTA: New legislation being proposed in Indonesia has created a stir of antagonism, especially from conservative Islamist groups in the country, who demand that Islamic law, or Sharia, is implemented and followed in the country.

But women’s groups are lashing out against the push by the Islamic organizations to curtail the bill’s progression in government, saying that “all women and men in Indonesia deserve equal access under the law.”

Indonesia: Change in attitudes, laws and police training needed to stop sexual violence

April 10, 2012

JAKARTA - Survivors of sexual violence in Indonesia face an uphill battle in recovery as a result of an inadequate legal system, police inaction, and prevailing societal attitudes that tend to be suspicious of victims, say activists.

Join VNC for 2 events April 21st at the AWID Forum in Istanbul, Turkey

April 8, 2012

Join VNC for two events on 21 April 2012, at the AWID Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. We'll be hosting a talk show on "The Nexus between Culture, Gender and Other Identities: Resisting Discrimination and Reclaiming Space", as well as a workshop on "Visioning Cultures Free from Violence: Transnational Advocacy and Communications using Visual Arts and Digital Media". Full details below.

Muslim women's rights in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore

March 14, 2012

This article was originally published in Dutch in "Moslemvrouwenrechten" (Muslim Women's Rights) Al-Nisa, Islamitisch maandblad voor vrouwen (Islamic monthly for women), 31st year, Volume 2, Mar 2012.

Indonesia: Polygamy Dispute at Center of Shia School Burning

December 29, 2011

The torching of a Shia-run Islamic boarding school in East Java on Thursday stemmed from a sibling dispute after a cleric at the school denied his brother the right to enter into polygamous marriage with one of the students, a teacher said. 

“A male resident sought revenge on his brother, a Shia cleric who refused to let him marry one of his female students as it would be polygamy,” said Ustadz Muhyi, one of the teachers at Tajuk Muluk Islamic boarding school (pesantren) in Sampang district.

Indonesia: 'Dirty' Punks Forced into 'Moral Rehab' by Sharia Police

December 14, 2011

Indonesian sharia police are "morally rehabilitating" more than 60 young punk rock fans who were holding a charity concert in Aceh province in northern Sumatra.

Police arrested 59 male and five female punk rock fans at a concert organised to raise money for orphans in the provincial capital Banda Aceh on Saturday night, saying the youths were damaging the province's image.

Rangkaian KAMPANYE 16 HARI ANTI KEKERASAN TERHADAP PEREMPUAN

December 7, 2011

Betapa indahnya hidup kita sebagai perempuan jika berjalan tengah malam mengenakan fasilitas publik tanpa ancaman diperkosa. Betapa nyamannya keseharian kita mengenakan apapun juga tanpa takut diadili dengan siapapun. Betapa surganya setiap waktu kita jika kita dapat melakukan secara merdeka tentu tanpa mengganggu orang lain. Namun barisan kalimat di atas hanya terus menjadi khayalan selama was-was terus ada.

Solidaritas Perempuan Commemorates the 16 Days of Activism

December 7, 2011

Solidaritas Perempuan is a woman's rights organization that is currently organizing a campaign series 'Women Without Worries' to commemorate the 16 days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women. The campaign involves harnessing students’ enthusiasm to stop violence against women, whether on campus or in the surroundings areas. Solidaritas Perempuan supports students as agents of change in their work to campaign against violence on campus.

Indonesia: FGM/C Regulations Mistaken As Endorsement, Experts Fear

September 1, 2011

WEST JAVA, 1 September 2011 (IRIN) - Guidelines on how to perform female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Health could cause an increase in the practice, medical experts and rights groups fear.

Indonesia: Sharia police in Aceh dissolve lesbian marriage

August 25, 2011

Islamic police in the Indonesian province of Aceh have forced two women to have their marriage annulled and sign an agreement to separate.

The women had been legally married for a few months after one of them passed as a man in front of an Islamic cleric who presided over their wedding.

But suspicious neighbours confronted the couple and reported them to police.

The two women are now back with their families, forcibly separated and under surveillance by the Islamic police.

Outrage as 'Obedient Wives Club' spreads across south-east Asia

July 6, 2011

A women's group that aims to teach Muslim wives how to "keep their spouses happy in the bedroom" is taking root in south-east Asia, prompting outrage from Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Indonesia: Using religion to strengthen gender equality

May 12, 2011

DENPASAR, Indonesia, May 12, 2009 (IPS) - ‘My husband rapes me repeatedly. I asked the ulama (religious leader) for help, but he sided with him, saying that according to Islam, a woman has to obey her husband. I have nowhere else to go. I have no tears left to shed. I no longer scream.’

It was while recording stories like this that staff at Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan), a branch of the country’s Human Rights Commission, decided in 2007 that they needed to focus on religious leaders if they wanted to protect women. 

Indonesia: Government must repeal caning bylaws in Aceh

May 22, 2011


The Indonesian government must end the use of caning as a form of punishment and repeal the laws that allow it in Aceh province, Amnesty International said today after at least 21 people were publicly caned since 12 May.

In Langsa city, 14 men were caned outside the Darul Falah mosque on 19 May, following the caning of seven men a week earlier.

All 21 were found to have violated an Aceh bylaw (qanun) prohibiting gambling and were given six lashes each as hundreds of people looked on.

Indonesia: Activists Criticize Clerics Over Dress Code

February 10, 2011


The Network for Civil Society Concerned with Sharia (JMSPS) in Aceh has criticized clerics and asked them not to overly interfere in enforcing the Muslim dress code, especially for Muslim women in the province. 

“Aceh clerics should not stunt their important position by dealing with trivial matters related to the daily lives of Aceh residents,” said Hendra Fadli from the Aceh Legal Aid Institute (LBH).

The Aceh LBH is one of 15 NGOs affiliated with the JMSPS in Aceh.

Indonesia: Clerics ban Valentine's Day

February 10, 2011


The Indonesia Council of Ulema has made its annual — and regularly ignored — call for Muslims to avoid celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day on Monday.

Roza’i Akbar, head of the Dumai, Riau, branch of the council, also known as MUI, said Valentine’s Day — an annual celebration of love — was a Western occasion and not permitted (haram) under Islam.

Roza’i said the celebration was inappropriate as it was identified with pre-marital relationships among teenagers.

Indonesia: Sisters in Islam (SIS) denounces controversial plans to “check” sinful activities of youth

February 10, 2011


PETALING JAYA: Sisters in Islam (SIS) has hit out at PAS Youth over its controversial plans to “check” sinful activities and play the moral police on Valentine’s Day.

Its media and communications senior programme officer, Yasmin Masidi, said moral policing was against Islamic values and fundamental liberties.

She added: “It violates personal dignity and privacy, which is for­bidden in the Quran and Hadith.”

She was responding to the movement’s planned multi-pronged approach to discourage sinful activities on Valentine’s Day, which falls on Monday.

Indonesia: Woman Persecuted for "Shame" of Rape & Pregnancy

November 4, 2010


Rhaya is a 19-year-old from a poor family in Sumatra. She stopped school when she was 16, deciding to look for work as a domestic worker.
 Rhaya washed clothes in different houses while living at her sister Enny’s house. Enny, is the fourth wife of Abang Setia, with whom she has a young child.

One Day One Struggle: International Campaign to Promote Sexual and Bodily Rights across Muslim Societies

November 9, 2010

On November 9, 2010, the 2nd international “One Day One Struggle” Campaign to promote sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies will take place in 12 countries across Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia.

Indonesian woman persecuted for the 'shame' of being raped and pregnant

November 4, 2010


Rhaya is a 19-year-old from a poor family in Sumatra. She stopped school when she was 16, deciding to look for work as a domestic worker.

INDONESIA: Female genital mutilation persists despite ban

September 2, 2010

Jakarta, 2 September 2010 (IRIN) - Though the Indonesian government banned female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) four years ago, experts say religious support for the practice is more fervent than ever, particularly in rural communities. A lack of regulation since the ban makes it difficult to monitor, but medical practitioners say FGM/C remains commonplace for women of all ages in this emerging democracy of 240 million - the world’s largest Muslim nation.

South Sulawesi, Indonesia: General Statement on Socialization of Indonesia's Porn Law

September 1, 2010

 

GENERAL STATEMENT ON SOCIALIZATION OF INDONESIA’S PORN LAW

BY: WOMEN’S ACTIVISTS COALITION OF SOUTH SULAWESI

Since the enactment of Indonesia's pornography law No. 44 year 2008, therefore we, from Women’s activists coalition of South Sulawesi rejected the bill and urged the government to withdraw the law.  Our legal effort that we have done by doing a judicial review of this pornography act was rejected by the constitutional court.

There are some basic consideration why we reject this pornography law, they are:

Supporting syariah, advancing women

September 1, 2010

 

The life and work of an Islamic teacher in Aceh shows that the struggle for gender equality is about much more than syariah.

In Aceh, a special formulation of Islamic law, the qanun, was implemented in 2003, and ever since, national and international media covering Aceh have been obsessed with it. Although this interest is perhaps understandable, it also results in distorted, incomplete, and sometimes false portrayals of local dynamics.

Shariah in Aceh: Eroding Indonesia’s Secular Freedoms

August 18, 2010


A woman is caned and shamed in Aceh’s Pidie Jaya district for breaking Shariah bylaws. It is unclear who was actually behind the implementation of Shariah and resistance to the controversial code is growing.  (Antara Photo/Rahmad)

Islam without veil

July 27, 2010


Since the recent controversy surrounding the French government’s ban on total face coverings (burqa or niqab), the head scarf issue has once again attracted the world’s attention.

Indeed, only very few Muslim women cover their face completely, which is a reflection of the attitude preached by Sayed al Tantawi, an imam of Al-Azhar in Cairo, who boldly stated that total face coverings are not in accordance with Islamic teachings.

Amnesty International launches action to protect women domestic workers in Indonesia

June 24, 2010


Women domestic workers in Indonesia face human rights abuses at work, including economic exploitation, poor working conditions and gender-based discrimination. 

There are around 2.6 million women domestic workers in Indonesia, but they are not protected by current legislation safeguarding workers' rights. As a result they are subjected to physical, psychological and sexual violence in the workplace.

Indonesia: 'Islamic' Police Jailed for Gang-Raping Woman

July 15, 2010


Banda Aceh.
An Indonesian court on Thursday jailed two Islamic policemen for gang-raping a young woman in custody, a case that has sparked outrage in the deeply religious province of Aceh.

Mohammed Nazir, 29, and Feri Agus, 28, were found guilty of raping a 20-year-old student in a police station in January after she was arrested with her boyfriend under local laws designed to enforce Islamic morals.

Women point to biases in Koranic exegesis

July 3, 2010

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the National Commission on Violence Against Women and Children are hopeful their newly launched book will change the views of the Indonesian Muslim community surrounding women and their rights.

Breaking the Silence: Religion listens to the voice of women victims of violence for the sake of justice, launced on June 30, is intended to serve as a reference for clerics, Islamic women's organizations and the government, in promoting progressive and just perspectives on the Islamic view of women.

Indonesia: Islamists take fight against Christians to Jakarta's suburbs

July 7, 2010


A banner with a picture of a young, bespectacled Christian man is draped in front of a mosque, a fiery noose around his neck and the words: "This man deserves the death penalty!" Churches are shut down. And an Islamic youth militia held its first day of training.

Though the events all occurred less than 15 kilometres from Indonesia's bustling capital, making headlines in local papers and dominating chats on social networking sites such as Facebook, they've sparked little public debate in the halls of power.

Indonesia: Aceh laws discriminate against women

June 7, 2010

BANDA ACEH - Earlier this year, Sharia police arrested a 20-year-old college student and her boyfriend for indecency; they had been spending time together even though they were not legally married.
 
Her boyfriend was released, but she was detained and then allegedly raped by three policemen. Two of the men are on trial, while the third is at large.
 
That incident and others, such as the ban on tight trousers, have sparked outrage among rights activists, who say the laws disproportionately target women.
 

FPI radicals remain free after assault

May 13, 2010


Three days after the unruly Islam Defenders Front (FPI) stormed a human rights training workshop for transgender individuals in Depok, West Java, police seem reluctant to pursue the case further, with no arrests made to date.

Despite massive media reports covering the Friday attack and the presence of several police officers at the crime scene, police investigations have made little progress, despite apparent evidence of the perpetrators.

Court Upholdings “Defamation of Religions” Laws

April 20, 2010

On Monday 19 April, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court upheld the country’s controversial laws on “defamation of religions” or blasphemy. The legal provisions, which impose criminal penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment on individuals or groups that “deviate” from the basic teachings of the official religions, seriously threaten the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion in Indonesia, especially in relation to minority groups.

Secular Indonesia Outraged Over Aceh Mob Justice

A government prosecutor hands over a whip to the executioner during a public caning in Aceh Besar in January this year. There is growing outrage after a man and woman caught committing adultery on were beaten and possibly caned under Islamic law by a mob on Wednesday.

Indonesia on Friday promised a full investigation into the public humiliation, mob beating and possible caning under Islamic law of two people suspected of having an adulterous tryst.

Indonesia: Constitutional court upholds anti-pornography bill

By Karishma Vaswani
BBC News, Jakarta

Indonesia's constitutional court has upheld a controversial anti-pornography law, disappointing activists and cultural groups who had challenged it.

The court said that the law's definition of pornography was clear and did not violate the constitution.

The law was passed in 2008 and heavily backed by Islamic parties who helped to draft it.

But it was opposed by minority groups who say it goes against Indonesia's tradition of diversity and pluralism.

Aceh Shari'a police will not be disbanded despite rape case

A Sharia policeman speaks to two youths about the rules of Sharia law at the seaside area of Uleelheu in Banda Aceh.

January 18, 2009
By Nurdin Hasan

Banda Aceh. Aceh’s deputy governor said on Tuesday that there was no need to disband the province’s Wilayatul Hisbah, or Shariah Police, because there was no legal obligation to do so.

Aceh: Sharia police arrested for ‘rape’

Sharia police arrested for ‘rape’

Hotli Simanjuntak , The Jakarta Post , Banda Aceh, Aceh | Tue, 01/12/2010 11:12 PM | National

Indonesia: New Aceh law violates Islam and women's right to bodily autonomy

GAYa NUSANTARA together with the Center for Marginalized People (CMARs) and Tarbiyah Faculty of Moslem Education from IAIN Sunan Ampel University held a public seminar entitled "Qanun Jinayat: Is it still relevant for Indonesia?" More than 70 people including teachers, students and NGO representatives participated in the event that took place in IAIN Sunan Ampel University. Keynote speakers for this seminar were the Moslem thinker Guntur Romli from Jurnal Perempuan, the critical feminist Endah Triwijati and the moderator Ahmad Zainur Hamdi, professor at IAIN Sunan Ampel University.

Indonesia expected to ditch stoning law

By Saeed Ahmed
CNN
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South Sulawesi, Indonesia A Campaign against Discriminatory Regulations

The whipping of a 13-year-old girl by the village head of Padang village, South Sulawesi, shockingly epitomized the increasing political use of Islam to spread discriminatory regulations in parts of Indonesia. She was (wrongly) accused of being in the company of an unrelated male person –a new punishable offence.

Press Release from the National Commission on Anti-Violence Against Women Indonesia (Komnas Perempuan)

Press Release

The Legislation of the Qanun on Jinayah (Islamic Criminal Law):

The National Government of Indonesia Has Failed to Enforce the Constitution

Indonesia: Aceh passes adultery stoning law

14/09/2009: Indonesia's province of Aceh has passed a new law making adultery punishable by stoning to death, a member of the province's parliament has said. (BBC News)

A Cutting Tradition

February 28, 2008

When a girl is taken — usually by her mother — to a free circumcision event held each spring in Bandung, Indonesia, she is handed over to a small group of women who, swiftly and yet with apparent affection, cut off a small piece of her genitals.