In Padang, Islamic law is now imposed on all
Sharia laws in Padang, the capital of the Indonesian province of West Sumatra, are now being forced on non-Muslim citizens. Female students, regardless of their religion, are often suspended from school is they fail to wear the hijab (headscarf).
4/24/08 Indonesia (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 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.
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”.
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.