Tasikmalaya law to make Muslim women wear veils
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.”
He said the city administration might need to establish a sharia police force to ensure enforcement because the National Police were not able to handle sharia violations.
Tio said the enforcement of the ordinance would be different from that in Aceh because cases would still go to existing courts.
“Law enforcement here will be different from that in Aceh. For example, there will be no canning. This ordinance is aimed more at educating people to live in an Islamic way,” he said.
The ordinance, signed on Sept. 24, 2009 by Tasikmalaya Mayor Syarif Hidayat, was enacted amid local concerns that globalization would harm residents in a city known for its many Islamic schools.
The ordinance mandates all adult Muslims to cover their aurat, or parts of the body that must be covered under Islam.
Fifteen other offenses are also proscribed other offenses, including corruption, prostitution and adultery, homosexuality, gambling, drinking alcohol, drug abuse, witchcraft, pornography, usury, thuggery, propagating cults and abortion.
Tasikmalaya City Council Speaker Ruhimat said the ordinance was passed because 99 percent of local population was Muslim and not due to pressure from Islamic groups.
He was not concerned about the law’s impact on adherents of other religions. “Non-Muslims account for only one percent”.
“According to the regional administration law, we have the authority to determine our own administrative visions,” Ruhimat said.