The Jakarta Post
Aceh's sharia police officers, locally known as the Wilayatul Hisbah, stopped dozens of women caught not riding motorcycles side-saddle and for not wearing appropriate Islamic attire in on Wednesday.
In the two-hour raid at Riyadhah Park in Lhokseumawe the officers also caught another 90 people, men and women, found to be in breach of the 2002 Qanun (Islamic bylaw) in the city, said the public order and Wilayatul Hisbah head Irsyadi on Wednesday. The raid was also in accordance with the regulation issued by the local consultative forum (Muspida) in 2013 banning women straddling motorcycles.
The officers stopped women who were not riding motorcycles side-saddle, even though they wore proper Islamic clothes. After receiving a warning not to ride motorbikes in the straddle position again, the women were allowed to continue their journeys side-saddle.
"We will keep conducting the raids until the prohibition on straddling motorcycles for women is enforced thoroughly," he said as quoted by tribunnews.com.
Meanwhile, the raid also stopped people who were not properly dressed. The officers warned 52 women wearing tight clothes or not wearing the hijab. Meanwhile, 38 men were netted for wearing shorts.
The sharia police recorded their identities and also gave them advice on how to dress in accordance with the Islamic bylaw.
The officers also gave sarongs to women whose trousers were deemed too tight as well as veils for those who did not wear the hijab, Irsyadi said.
Lhokseumawe Mayor Suaidi Yahya announced in early 2013 that he had banned women passengers from straddling motorcycles claiming the sitting arrangement was not in accordance with the local culture. The ban met with protests from residents but later the local administration made the ban official by issuing a regulation.
Aceh, a special autonomous province, is the only province in Indonesia to implement sharia and has done so since 2003. The bylaw, locally known as Qanun, also prohibits liquor consumption, adultery, physical contact between unmarried couples of the opposite sex, homosexuality and gambling. (rin)
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