Aceh Tightens Clothing Regulations
Visitors to the Indonesian province of Aceh should check their luggage twice: Attire regulations in the province are getting stricter.
Earlier this month, religious police in Aceh nabbed 60 women for offences such as wearing body-hugging clothing and not donning headscarves. The blitz was the latest in a string of several crackdowns that have taken place in the past few years. In the last two months alone, the Wilayatul Hisbah, or religious police, have reprimanded 300 women and three men for violating the province’s rule of Islamic modesty. Expanding the crackdown, Acehnese authorities are set to ban the sale of tight-fitting clothes. ‘We will soon send letters to shop owners,’ said Samsuddin, a top Wilayatul Hisbah official, adding that the newly elected governor, Zaini Abdullah, supports continued enforcement of the regulation.
According to provincial law, women must wear clothing that conforms to the Islamic standard of modest attire. Tight clothing, jeans and see-through clothes for women and shorts for men run contrary to the law, which has been in effect since 2001. Religious police conduct routine patrols in public places to enforce the regulation. Those who are caught have their personal details recorded by the religious police, who will also lecture them on the subject and make them pledge not to repeat the violation.
In the municipality of West Aceh, women are forbidden to wear trousers and must wear long skirts. This rule has been met with raised eyebrows from critics who claim that the traditional attire of Acehnese women comprises a baju kurung (long top) and celana cekak musang (long trousers).
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