Oddly Enough

Ban on tight trousers for women?

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (Reuters) - Women may soon be banned from wearing tight trousers in parts of an Indonesian province that practices strict Islamic law, and offenders could see their attire cut up.

Aceh is the only province in predominantly Muslim Indonesia to use Islamic sharia for its legal code. The previous provincial government passed a controversial law in September allowing adulterers to be stoned to death.

Now Ramli Mansyur, regent of a district in West Aceh, said on Tuesday he plans to introduce a regulation forcing women to wear Muslim dress, which could come into effect in December.

“Trousers are allowed, as long as the woman also wears a long skirt down to her ankles,” he said. “The fashion has become too open, and it embarrasses me.”

Mansyur said women who will flout the law will not be served at government offices and their trousers could be destroyed. He has ordered 7,000 skirts to be set aside for women who cannot afford to buy such attire.

“If a woman wears pants and tucks her top in, that’s wrong. Even if she is wearing a headscarf, her dress can still show her body shape, and that is not perfect Muslim dress,” the head of sharia department in West Aceh, Nur Djuned, also said.

Aceh, on the far western tip of the Indonesian archipelago, is sometimes referred to as the “verandah of Mecca” because the staunchly Muslim province was one of the first parts of the country to turn to Islam.

Writing by Olivia Rondonuwu in Jakarta; Editing by Sara Webb and Miral Fahmy