The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Sharia follies continue in Indonesia’s Sumatra with proposed banning of face-forward female motorcycle riders

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jan• 03•13

Ignorance remains bliss in Indonesia’s Aceh province in Sumatra as the city of Lhokseumawe has proposed a  Sharia law that would ban female motorcycle passengers from riding face-forward. Deeming the position “improper,” according to the mayor, women now must ride side-saddle. Sumatra recently banned tight trousers on women, as reported in an article appearing in the January 3, 2013 issue of the Bangkok Post. Making this nutso law even weirder, women may drive motorcycles face-forward, providing that they’re dressed “in a Muslim way.” We are prompted to ask: Why not just import a bunch of camels, and ban women from riding motorcycles all together? After all, if we’re heading back to the Dark Ages, why not throw a little accelerant into it?

The proposed law must still pass muster with national authorities. Indonesian women’s groups are up in arms over the matter, citing everything from general motorcycle safety to discrimination issues.

Aceh has already implemented public whippings for alleged moral transgressions. As reported in the January 9, 2013 issue of the Bangkok Post, a public whipping was held in the capital city of Meulaboh on December 12, 2012, in which 16 people were whipped with rattan canes until they bled, for “indecent behavior.”

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