Tasikmalaya to make Muslim
women wear headscarves

The Tasikmalaya City Council will soon pass a regulation that will require all Muslim women, including visitors to the West Java city, to wear headscarves.

The regulation, which is currently being drafted by the local administration, will enact the Bylaw on Community Values Based on Muslim Teachings that was passed in 2009.

Tasikmalaya city secretary Tio Indra Setiadi said on Monday that preparations for the regulation would be finished soon.

“Hopefully, preparations for the enactment of the new bylaw will be completed this month,” Tio said.

Tio said that a special team would be set up like Aceh’s Sharia Police to implement the bylaw as sharia violations could not be handled by the National Police.

“People intending to report violations of the bylaw will face difficulties if we don’t have an apparatus to enforce it,” he said.

Tio said that Tasikmalaya’s bylaw would differ from sharia law in Aceh as punishments for any violations would be decided by the regular court system.

“There will be no caning punishment as in Aceh. This bylaw is intended mainly to educate people to live in accordance with Islamic teachings,” he said.

The bylaw, which was approved by Tasikmalaya Mayor Syarif Hidayat on Sept. 24, 2009, was enacted on local concerns at the negative effect of globalization.

Other than requiring women to wear headscarves, the bylaw also proscribes 15 additional offenses, including corruption, prostitution, adultery, homosexuality, drug use and trafficking, consuming alcoholic beverages, looking at pornography, thuggery, promoting cults and abortion.

Tasikmalaya Legislative Council speaker Ruhimat said that regulation to enact the bylaw was not done at the request of any Muslim organization, claiming it was based on the fact that 99 percent of Tasikmalaya’s population was Muslim.

“This is logical, because most of our population is Muslim, and is in line with the Regional Autonomy Law,”Ruhimat said.

“We have the authority to set out our administration’s vision,” he added.

Ruhimat said that he believed that the National Police could enforce the new bylaw locally and that no special sharia police force would be required.

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