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West Aceh Introduces Bylaw on Tight Jeans


Banda Aceh, TAG. If you are a Muslim woman who likes wearing tight jeans or miniskirts, then the West Aceh district may not be the place for you. Starting today, the district government’s Wilayatul Hisbah, or Shariah police, will go out on “raids” to find women they deem to be inappropriately dressed.


“Starting Wednesday we are going to strategic points, and women who wear tight trousers or jeans will be given long skirts to wear. Their jeans will also be confiscated,” West Aceh district chief Ramli Mansur said. 


About 20,000 long skirts have been collected from donations by groups that supported a similar bylaw banning the wearing of shorts by men. 

However, the effectiveness of the sweeps could be muted after the district chief announced the exact location of the raids. 


“After a ceremony, we will start the raids at three locations heading toward the [district] capital of Meulaboh. The raids will be conducted at Kaway XVI, Arongan Lambalek, and Nagan Raya,” he said. 


But if some West Aceh women are hoping that ineffective raids lead to softer clothing bylaws in the future, they could be in for a long wait. 


“I hope people from other places who come to West Aceh will respect the regulations we have here,” Ramli said. “I am doing this because it is an Islamic command to uphold the Shariah kaffah [to abide by Islamic tenets in their entirety] in Aceh, especially in West Aceh.” 


Ramli said that under the law, all women should wear the baju kurung, a flowing traditional outfit that covers most of the body and a veil. 

He also called on shops in the district to stop selling tight-fitting clothes for women. 


“I am doing this as a leader who will be responsible to God for what I have done for the people of West Aceh,” the official said. 


Violators who refuse to hand over their jeans or who are repeat offenders are to be punished. “We are going to detain them,” he said, without giving any indication of the length of detention. 


Shariah law is in partial use in staunchly Islamic Aceh — the only province where it is practiced in the world’s most populous Muslim country. 


“We are going to implement this in a persuasive way until we reach a stage where nobody wears tight clothes,” Ramli said. 


But according to a British Broadcasting Corp. report, some women in West Aceh have objected to the new bylaw, saying it curtails their personal freedoms and mobility. 


The law will only apply to Muslims.[]
West Aceh Introduces Bylaw on Tight Jeans West Aceh Introduces Bylaw on Tight Jeans Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on May 16, 2010 Rating: 5

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