Issue: Activists and lawmaker slam headscarf bylaw
June 6, p 1
The planned enactment of a bylaw on obligatory headscarves in Tasikmalaya municipality, West Java, has drawn criticism from activists and a lawmaker but a hard-line Islamic group has given its support.
Hemasari, a women’s rights activist from the province, considered the bylaw biased because “it is not based on practical social values”.
She said the municipal administration, which is trying to gain Tasikmalaya the status of a “religious city”, should have prioritized sharia laws on business and education rather than regulating dress codes.
Sharia is the implementation of guidance according to the Koran. I think it would be impossible to implement this kind of regulation on a societal level without proper knowledge of the values it teaches.
Otherwise, it will trigger phobias among people.
Maliki Utama Putra
This is a bad policy move by the local authorities. It should not spread throughout the archipelago. Indonesian Muslims are by and large moderate and fair minded, and things should stay this way.
The following statement is relevant here ...
“We cannot allow someone to claim the right to look at others without being seen.”
This is a very good point and probably the strongest and most convincing argument I have heard on this issue. It is a bit like when you meet someone and they are wearing mirrored glasses and you can’t see their eyes.
A certain level of openness is required for trust building to take place. I agree with the idea of modesty in relation to the wearing of certain religious garb, but modesty is also in the eyes of the beholder.
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.