Fresh off the international presses, the Indonesian town of Lhokseumawe (population 170,000) aims to pass a regulation that would forbid women from straddling a motorcycle while a passenger on a male-riden motorbike. The town’s mayor, Suaidi Yahya, says the regulation aims to save people’s “morals and behaviors” — unsurprisingly, Lhokseumawe resides in the only region of Indonesia that follows Sharia law.

The regulation will now mean that women need to sit side-saddle when a passenger on a motorcycle, though it would seem that the regulation doesn’t apply if another women is driving the motorcycle. According to Mayor Suaidi, women can still sit straddled on the motorcycle when they are riding alone, assuming they are appropriately dressed.

For a little background, Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country (81% of the population follows Islam). However, while the rest of country practices a moderate form of the religion, the Aceh province, which has had special autonomy since 2001, is the only area in the democratic country that implements Sharia law.

Opposition in the Muslim community has already voiced its concerns about Suaidi’s proposed regulations, citing that Islam’s holy texts are mute about the proper way to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle. “How to ride a motorbike is not regulated in Sharia. There is no mention of it in the Koran or Hadiths,” said liberal Islamic activist Ulil Abshar Abdalla on his Twitter account.

Feminist groups in Indonesia have obviously comedown against the proposed regulation, adding that the region has more pressing issues than how a woman rides on the back of a motorcycle. Suaidi hopes to implement these regulations, as well as the side-saddle regulation, in a few months’ time.

In other news, Lhokseumawe also hopes to pass regulations that ban women from wearing tight trousers, and allows for the stoning of adulterers, as well as the flogging of homosexuals.

Source: BBC & Associated Press

  • 76

    Well sounds like that place has VA CA TION for me written all over it. Bravo jacktards of Sharia law, way to make your mark… a big fat brown one.

  • for god sakes, in aceh province they have law that prohibit woman to wear jeans! In Jakarta itself this Sharia law in aceh province still remain controversial. bay the way, Aceh Province is the only province that have their own system, including Sharia Law, Political Party and they also had a ” Islamic law enforcement”

    Aceh itself didn’t represent Indonesia as a whole nation, they try to gain their independence since 1993-2003 to become Islamic nation. they are allowed to enforce Sharia Law as a compromise from central government.

    before 2010 aceh route is a great riding and touring destination. but since the enforce Sharia law, most of the tour are never beyond north Sumatra province. nobody wants put in prison for a year beacuse they ride with his girlfriend.

  • Afletra

    I never understand Islam strict rules, although I’ve tried to…

  • DareN

    Welcome to dark ages, yet again…

  • Heatsoak

    Go to Malaysia, where it is illegal for an unmarried woman to be in a hotel room with a man. If caught by one of the patrols whose job it is to enforce such BS, the woman has a choice between being taken immediately to temple to marry the man, or going to jail.

    If the man is married already, that removes choice A.

    Shame the scuba diving is so good, because the rest of the country can take a flying leap…

  • hoyt

     Suaidi Yahya needs laid

  • Panigale and GSArider

    Last time we (indonesian central government) try to impose Secular law, it ended up in long time bloody civil war conflict. at the end aceh province are allowed to have Sharia Law.

    So what ? if u don’t like to live under Sharia Law in aceh, why you are not moving to other province ?

    neighbouring province North Sumatra is not under Sharia Law … 50% population is not a muslim … why bother ? or why aceh people not migrate to Jakarta ? or Bali ? we have a very good night live there …

  • WetMan

    I guess you need to look for a girlfriend with a bike licence and snuggle up behind her…

  • abahgiza

    i don’t know u guess here are so into this matter, i’m indonesian and i’m a muslim. that law is not Syaria law, that law is an opinion from the guy alone. i have to be honest that this issue in indonesia is not even in the corner of a news media because they have been exactly knowing that this is rubbish.
    n for u to understand, next time if u want to quote opinion about syaria (or anything else related to islam in indonesia) dont take ulil abshar abdala’s quote because he’s a complete idiot. nobody noticing him here, he’s only existed in twitter.

    just for a little fact, here in indonesia u can easily found a jilbaber ( a muslim woman with long veil clothes) in a famous universities riding a motorcycle as good as guy do, n yes they’re islamic syaria brainer know how n they’re a bike hardcore too.

  • heatsoak…

    In Malaysia those things that you said is applicable only to muslims… and not at all to non-muslims…

    and BTW if a married muslim man is caught in those circumstances, he can still marry that girl, as muslims are allowed to have up to 4 wives LoL! (IMO it is more legally binding for a man towards a woman even if that woman is his 2nd, 3rd or 4th wife, by law as the legal status is still the same)

    Oh boy why did i reply to this… Anyway A&R please no more of this crap and more of 2 wheels awesomeness!