Category: Islam

Dirty Minds and Women who Straddle

Yet another case of men with dirty minds who blame women for the filth in their craniums.

For the sake of these easily stimulated men, they expect women to endanger their lives and sit sideways on a motorbike rather than straddling them if they are passengers.

No mention is made of whether women should do the impossible and still sideways if they are the rider rather than a pillion. Presumably a chick on a bike whether straddling or sitting sideways is too hot for religious wallahs.

Unspun’s favorite quote in this story, however, is Lhokseumawe Mayor Suaidi Yahya’s quote that “In Islam, women are not allowed to wear jeans.” Yeah, like jeans existed in the time of Muhamed.

The second best quote was the ultimate Indonesian putdown from Lawmaker Eva Kusuma Sundari who said “In Malaysia, pillion riders are obliged to straddle due to safety reasons. In this case, Malaysians are smarter than the Lhokseumawe administration.”

Ouch. To be considered more stupid than Malaysians. That must hurt.

Aceh city to ban women from straddling motorbikes | The Jakarta Post.

Bagus BT Saragih and Hotli Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, January 03 2013, 11:23 AM

Straddling the issue: A police officer stops a woman on a motorcycle in Simpang Mesra, Banda Aceh, on Tuesday as part of a crackdown on women in tight clothing. Officials in nearby Lhokseumawe are considering banning women from straddling motorcycles to improve local Islamic values. (Antara/Irwansyah)Straddling the issue: A police officer stops a woman on a motorcycle in Simpang Mesra, Banda Aceh, on Tuesday as part of a crackdown on women in tight clothing. Officials in nearby Lhokseumawe are considering banning women from straddling motorcycles to improve local Islamic values. (Antara/Irwansyah)

The administration of Lhokseumawe, Aceh, is planning to issue a bylaw banning women from straddling motorcycles, arguing that the practice is “improper” in a province governed by Islamic law.

Lhokseumawe Mayor Suaidi Yahya said that women should sit sideways on motorcycles, with their legs dangling off to one side.

The planned regulation had been discussed with many parties, including local ulema, Suaidi said in his 2013 New Year’s speech.

The mayor said that the ban would restore fading local values caused by poor morality and make it easier to differentiate women from men when riding pillion.

He said that the planned regulation could in fact uphold the dignity of women in the region.

Suaidi said that the administration would begin publicizing the proposed regulation next week.

“At the first phase, we will issue a circular on it. After a period of time, we will strengthen the circular [into] a regulation. Anyone who violates the regulation will face punishment,” he said.

Suaidi also said that he had been considering banning women from wearing denim. “In Islam, women are not allowed to wear jeans.”

M. Yusuf A. Samad, a member of Lhokseumawe Legislative Council, said that he supported the motorcycle-straddling ban.

“We need to improve the implementation of sharia. The religious values of the Acehnese people have continued to fade,” he said.

According to Yusuf, straddling a motorcycle could make the curves of a woman’s body visibly clearer. “Showing the curves of a woman’s body is against Sharia,” Yusuf said.

Separately, the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) chairwoman Yuniyanti Chuzaifah slammed the plan, saying that it was prejudiced against women.

“I cannot understand the aims of such a policy. Local government should focus more on providing protection and service to women who fall victim to violence and enhancing education for women instead,” she told The Jakarta Post.

Lawmaker Eva Kusuma Sundari shared Yuniyanti’s opinion, saying that sitting sideways on a motorcycle could leave riders more prone to accidents.

“In Malaysia, pillion riders are obliged to straddle due to safety reasons. In this case, Malaysians are smarter than the Lhokseumawe administration,” she said.

“You cannot issue a policy only based on emotional sentiment that tends to be very subjective. A public policy must promote the protection of the public,” she added.

Women activists in Aceh have condemned the plan, calling it a lunatic proposal. “The way women ride a bike, how they speak and how they dress should not be the concern for the government,” Norma Manalu of Balai Syura Ureung Inong Aceh NGO.

Aceh, the nation’s westernmost province is the only region allowed to apply sharia under the law on Acehnese special autonomy. Lawmakers in the province have continued to spark controversy due to the issuance of a number of sharia-based regulations.

Among the controversial regulations are a bylaw regulating Koran-reading proficiency levels for prospective civil servants and a regulation banning women from wearing “tight” dresses.

Finally you know who gets infuriated over talk of sex

The world is a strange place. Usually it is the Moslem cleric denouncing some seemingly depraved talk show host for sexually-explicit and immoral trash talk. This time the tables are turned with the Government watchdog  the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) is playing moral gatekeeper and a Ustad has the role of poacher.

What a strange and wonderful world we live in.

Indonesian TV Station Cited Over ‘Vulgar’ Episode of Renowned Cleric Ustad Solmed’s Show

Indonesian TV Station Cited Over ‘Vulgar’ Episode of Renowned Cleric Ustad Solmed’s Show
The Jakarta Globe | August 01, 2012

Muslim preacher Sholahudin Mahmoed, better known as Ustad Solmed, hosts the late night talk show

Muslim preacher Sholahudin Mahmoed, better known as Ustad Solmed, hosts the late night talk show ‘Akhirnya Aku Tahu’ (‘I Finally Understand’). (Photo courtesy of

Indonesian television station Global TV was cited by the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) after renowned Muslim preacher Sholahudin “Ustad Solmed” Mahmoed hosted a sexually-explicit late night talk show.Ustad Solmed discussed Islam and marital sexual relations on the July 15 episode of  “Akhirnya Aku Tahu” (“I Finally Understand”). The Islamic cleric allegedly discussed intimate details of the audience’s sex lives during what the KPI has called a “vulgar” episode of the show.

“The sex-ridden discussion happened between Ustad Solmed and members of his audience. They discussed contraception, intimate relationships between husbands and wives, the engorgement of genitals, oral sex and other ways to have sex,” the KPI said in a statement published on its website Monday evening.

The show, which aired at 4 a.m., was rated “teen,” a fact that has drawn ire from the KPI, who alleged that this program violated Indonesia’s child protection laws.

“We classify this as a violation of child protection laws, norms of politeness, restrictions on sexual themes and the broadcast program’s rating,” the statement read.

The KPI urged Global TV to clean the show up and get its broadcasting in line with the commission’s standards in a letter signed by KPI chairman Mochamad Riyanto on July 30.

The commission sought the opinion of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) before issuing the letter.

“The MUI says the dialog was very vulgar and should never happen again,” the KPI says, adding a letter from the MUI was attached to a warning sent to Global TV.

Going Gaga with Islam in Malaysia

How ridiculous can people get? What is it about people who ride to political power on the coattails of religion that they think they can budget others with their zealotry?

So what if the buildings in Kelantan have idols in them? What do you think will happen to the Muslims there? Will they all be converted? Take to idol worshipping? Lose faith in Allah?

Malaysia’s Kelantan: Certain buildings can be without Islamic features

Rahimy Rahim, Asia News Network (The Star), Kota Baru, Malaysia | Sat, 05/26/2012 9:25 PM

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The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) appears to make a small consensus following the controversy on designs of new buildings but insist there be no images of idols.

The Kelantan state government will allow buildings to be constructed without any Islamic features so long they do not have elements that are against the religion, said Kelantan Chief Minister Abdul Aziz.

“Islam is a universal religion and is suitable for all races. The Buddhist association can build it [its new building] as long as it does not have elements that go against Islam,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“For instance, they can have any Chinese designs, architecture or colors but they are discouraged from putting images of idols on the buildings.”

He was asked to comment on a controversy involving the Kelantan Buddhist Association, which was required to abide by municipal by-laws requiring new buildings within its jurisdiction to have Islamic features.

It had been reported that the Kelantan Buddhist Association had submitted an appeal to the state government for its building to be constructed with Chinese features at Jl. Sultan Zainal Abidin here.

Abdul Aziz, who is also PAS spiritual leader, said the state government had no problems with the Chinese community and highlighted that they had built the Golden Jubilee Mosque, better known as the Chinese Mosque, which was inspired from his visit to Beijing.

“The mosque was created 100 percent based on Chinese design and architecture. Previously, many Chinese groups had also approached me to seek approval to build Chinese-style buildings and I had approved them,” he added.

via Malaysia’s Kelantan: Certain buildings can be without Islamic features | The Jakarta Post.

What the Fatwa?

We all can understand Islam forbidding rioting, causing disturbance and damaging public property.

But what about corruption, Gerrymeandering, arrogance and utter disrespect for the intelligence and integrity of citizens?

How do these clerics sleep at night and face their children? Do the children have a hard time in school because they have to live up with the fact that their daddies were government flunkies and hyppocrites because they claim to be men of God but are serving banal masters instead?

Malaysia fatwa council advises Muslims against demonstrations

Kuala Lumpur:  Malaysia’s top clerics on Monday issued a fatwa, deeming it ‘haram’ for Muslims to participate in the demonstrations that cause disturbance in the country, days after thousands defied government orders to stage a rally.

Malaysia’s National Fatwa Committee, which a few years ago had ruled that the Muslims should not do yoga, has now advised them against participating in any gathering that is unproductive, against the law or causes disturbance.

National Fatwa Committee Chairman Proffesor Emeritus Abdul Shukor Husin said that the committee viewed seriously the issue as some Muslims had resorted to rioting during the opposition backed electoral reforms demonstrations here on April 28.

“Rioting, causing disturbance and damaging public property are all forbidden by Islam. This also applies to any intention to topple a duly-elected government by organising such demonstrations” he said.

“No one is exempted, and cannot support any efforts that can cause harm, anxiety or unrest among the  Muslims to the point of the community becoming split, what more if there is bloodshed,” he added after chairing a meeting of the committee here.

via Malaysia fatwa council advises Muslims against demonstrations.

Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts and Habib Rizieq’s FPI

Here are two different but fascinating stories. It takes place in different countries and different times, but they both tell the story about how you can fool (and intimidate) all the people some of the time but  not all the people all the time.

The first is set in the US in the 1950s, when the country was gripped by Cold War Tensions. Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy exploited the fears and uncertainties and claimed that he had a list of Communists and Soviet sympathizers in the US Government and society.

Thereafter, using Senate Hearings as his bully pulpit he proceeded to launch a witch hunt against the putative Communists. Many innocent lives were affected. Careers were destroyed and some of his victims took their own lives.

For a moment he seemed unassailable. If you spoke out against then that meant you were a Communist or a sympathizer. There were some dissenting voices but by and large most people were afraid to provoke the ire of McCarthy because of his thuggish and intimidating tactics.

Then one fine day, the mirror cracked. McCarthy was trying to implicate a young man who belonged to the law firm of US Army legal counsel Joseph Welch in senate hearing that was broadcast live on TV. Welch stood up to McCarthy in his now famous “You Have no Decency” response (see YouTube video below) and it was over. From there McCarthy was exposed for the charlatan he was and stripped bare. People realized that the King had no clothes and McCarty went on a downward spiral. The Senate censured him and he died 10 years later, supposedly of a heart attack but widely suspected of dying from alcoholism.

The second story is set in present day Indonesia, which is in the grip of indecision and political intrigue between the various political parties and government institutions . Habib Riziq exploited this situation to build his base of support  in Jakarta through the FPI and is now trying to extend his influence in the rest of this country.

His tactics, like, Mccarthy’s are similar. Thuggism that intimidates dissenting voices. The FPI has been threatening people and even the police with impunity. Even though there are dissenting voices, people are generally afraid of confronting him or the FPI. They not only destroy lives but also property.

Now comes  the fine day yesterday in which hundreds of people from the Dayak community in Kalimantan stood up to Habib and the FPI by banning him from landing in Palankaraya airport and rejecting the FPI’s presence in their backyard. Is this Indonesia’s “You have no decency” moment?

Langkah Suku Dayak Tolak FPI Bisa Jadi Contoh – Nasional –

“Ini momentum bagi masyarakat lain, bisa jadi contoh untuk jangan diam saja kalau melihat ada benih-benih intoleransi,” kata Bonar.

Keberanian masyarakat adat suku Dayak untuk menolak keberadaan Front Pembela Islam FPI di Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah harus dihargai dan menjadi contoh bagi masyarakat lain untuk berani menentang benih-benih intoleransi antar umat beragama.

“Keberanian masyarakat Dayak untuk menolak FPI secara terbuka itu harus kita hargai, dan seharusnya menjadi inspirasi bagi yang lain untuk berani bicara dan bertindak melawan intoleransi,” kata Wakil Ketua Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, Bonar Tigor Naipospos, hari ini.

Ratusan masyarakat adat Dayak di Palangkaraya menolak kedatangan anggota FPI ke kota tersebut dalam rangka tablig akbar, karena khawatir keberadaan mereka akan mengganggu keharmonisan antar umat beragama di Provinsi Kalteng.Menurut Bonar, penolakan tersebut sangat wajar dan bisa dimengerti mengingat catatan aksi FPI.”FPI kan sudah ada di Kalimantan Timur, mereka sudah melakukan sweeping beberapa kali dan bahkan menganggu komunitas Ahmadiyah di Samarinda. Wajar kalau para pemuda Dayak khawatir kalau kejadian yang sama akan terulang di provinsi mereka,” kata Bonar.

Menurutnya, ada lebih banyak lagi pengikut Ahmadiyah di provinsi Kalimantan Tengah, bahkan jumlahnya adalah yang terbesar di provinsi Kalimantan.Lebih jauh Bonar menambahkan bahwa penolakan masyarakat adat Dayak terhadap keberadaan FPI tetap membutuhkan alasan yang sangat kuat agar tidak menentang hak umum untuk berserikat dan mendirikan organisasi.

Bonar juga mengatakan sebaiknya dijalin dialog antara kedua pihak dan FPI harus berjanji bahwa mereka tidak akan melakukan tindakan kekerasan dan melanggar hukum.”Jika mereka tidak mau menurut syarat tersebut, barulah bisa ditolak keberadaannya,” kata Bonar.Bonar menambahkan radikalisme adalah hal yang tidak mungkin bisa dihindarkan, namun selagi para penganut kepercayaan radikal tersebut tidak melakukan tindak kekerasan atau menyebarkan pesan kebencian maka keberadaannya masih bisa ditoleransi.

“Ini momentum bagi masyarakat lain, bisa jadi contoh untuk jangan diam saja kalau melihat ada benih-benih intoleransi,” kata Bonar.

The real reason why Banten and Temanggung occur again and again

It is easy to blame the violence in Banten and Temenggung on the usual suspects – poor laws, poor law enforcement, a decline in religious tolerance or dark political forces at play.

They would all be correct but fails to hit the mark as to why this violence is played out again and again in Indonesia.

The real reason for this never-ending cycle of violence, Unspun humbly posits, is a simple lack of accountability. This is the reason why even though several people have been killed in the recent round of violence, so little is being done to bring the culprits to book.

Nobody, from the President down, seems to have any direct accountability for the incompetence of the police and the fact that you have thugs roaming around every draped with a cloak of impunity merely because the name o Islam is invoked.

Hence we see the President and the police head as well as dozens of apparatchiks under them opining on the causes and usual suspects lined up whenever violence is discussed.

The media play along and nobody asks the vital questions: who shall be held accountable for the failure of the state security apparatus? Shouldn’t the chief of police and other top brass resign because this violence happened on their watch?

And what about the Justice minister? Shouldn’t he be held accountable for this failure too?

Sadly, none of them are held accountable so the message that gets through is that like madrigal times once you ascend to the ranks of the nobility you are immune from enemy attacks.

Unseen jinks that if SBY were to have the guts he should just sack the police chief and the justice minister. If he can do that then the message of accountability will percolTe down the ranks.

But politicking rules the day in indonesia – the best lack all conviction while the worst is full of righteous piety. So let’s all slouch into our living room sofas and continue to watch the inane talk shows where people who should be losing their jobs opine on poor laws. Poor law enforcement, declining religious tolerance….

Tarnishing the intelligence of Muslims

There was once a time when Malaysians would make a virtue of how tolerant they were of each other’s religion and culture. The Open House, where you would invite your neighbors and friends from other races and religions to your house on the festive days you celebrate. The Government would also make a virtue of it, with Ministers holding Open House.

It didn’t matter whether the festive days were religious. The point was to celebrate together with fellow Malaysians your festive days and to celebrate with them their festive days. All sounds very 1Malaysia but while the APCO-inspired key messages of integration and tolerance are being pumped out by the Najib administration by the terrabyte-ful, the Government is also shooting itself in the foot.

Below is apparently the latest directive from the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development titled Guidelines for Muslims Celebrating Religious Festivals of Non-Muslims.


Unspun thought it was a joke until he checked out the content’s veracity at the Department’s official website. Imagine the line of reasoning is that if you are a Muslim and attend someone’s Christmas party and their house has a cross, blinking lights, candles or a Christmas tree you would have tarnished the Islamic faith? Or you go to a Hindu friend’s house for Deepavali and he has some ask smeared on his forehead as is the customary thing, and that tarnishes Islam? How can the mind work in such fallacious ways?

The only thing that gets tarnished if anyone follows these guidelines or take them seriously is their own intelligence.

Does this earn the Department a shit-for-brains tag or a shit-for-brains tag?