‘Haram’ Hugging, Nosey Shariah Parkers in Jambi!


Although the news from Bogor is enough to make you weep, other shariah nuttery does provide lotsa laughs. Take Jambi Province this week, with a Jakarta Post 28/11 report telling us how they plan to outlaw ‘intimate’ pre-wedding photos.

You’ll recall Jambi from our previous post 11/11 on the terrifying ‘kneeophobia’ which afflicts the Sumatran province. But that’s another story. Back to the ban on ‘intimate’ photos.

And quite right too, I hear you say, no way should pictures of scantily clad couples cavorting be the in-thing for respectable families.
But hold on there, friends, the definition of ‘intimate’ in Jambi may not quite match YOUR understanding of the term.

The Jambi Malay Custom Institute has a chairman for its research and development division, a Mr. Djunaidi, and that insightful gent warns the happy couples against ‘hugging!’ He also mentions ‘laying’ on a bed together.
Since he probably doesn’t talk to local reporters in English, I’ll blame them for that imputed assertion.

No idea what or who might have been ‘laid!

But no, it’s surely meant to be ‘lying’ down, just lousy English skills on the part of the JP’s sub-editors, who, sad to say, are often native English speakers and clearly semi-literate. Even my pre-teen students know that ‘laying’ is a transitive verb whereas ‘lying’ does not take an object. Like ‘raising’ and ‘rising.’   Basic English, and the JP expats didn’t spot it!

But you can bet your boots or your headscarf the couples would not be sporting g-strings or jockey shorts! Just two fully dressed engaged adults having a laugh. Not funny, thinks Mr Djunaidi. “It is haram!” However, he can see a way round the problem.
Although it’s an ‘urgent’ issue, since these pictures are normally displayed at the wedding reception and guests can therefore deduce they were taken before the marriage was solemnized, the answer, says Mr. Djunaidi, is to get married, then take the photos, and just postpone the reception!

“For example, they can get married this month, and have the reception in December!’ Obviously!

But Djunaidi is up against sinister forces, namely ‘resistance from photographers, photo studios and printing companies.’ What a surprise.

 The Vice-Governor!
However, Mr. Djunaidi too has powerful allies, unsurprisingly including the goat-beard ‘scholars’ of the MUI, as well as the Vice-Governor (an unfortunate title, perhaps, given his commitment to virtue) Mr. Fachrori Umar, who claims he has ‘frequently received complaints from the community regarding intimate pre-wedding photos considered indecent.’
What a strange community of sticky-beak prigs Jambi must be.
It’s just about tolerable to have maiden aunties yapping on about one’s marriage preparations, but ‘the community?’

How does this nosey-parker ‘community’ get to peruse other people’s pictures? Do they prowl photographers’ shops? Or sneak into whatever hall is booked for receptions in order to be grievously outraged at the sight of lovers having a hug?
When my young’un informed me of the intended nuptials that I recently went to Aussie to celebrate, I said right away that I’d not interfere in any way with their plans, unless they asked for my advice. A marriage is between TWO people (in civilised contries, a man and a woman, though not, alas, in Canada or,  judging from the news, in Queersland, Australia!)

Those who care about them will wish them well and stand by to help in any way requested, but NOT intrude in any ‘father- (or mother)–knows-best’ way. How even less entitled is ‘the community’ to carp and comment on how a young couple organizes their Big Day.’