Another Indonesian Province Ditches Religous Liberty – Head-Shrouds Compulsory

Gorontalo Governor Rusli Habibie officially implemented on Thursday the “all headscarves” policy for female Muslim officials working in the province’s administration office, obliging them to cover their body parts according to Sharia values as well as to uphold Islamic teachings during their working hours.  Dozens of female state officials were already seen wearing headscarves in the Gorontalo administration office that morning.

And this guy was elected as the candidate backed by Golkar, which is ludicrously described as a ‘secular nationalist party’ by many journos here. God help Indonesia if they get back int power. They were founded as the puppet party of the former dictator Suharto, but their current likely presidential candidate is Aburizal Bakrie, millionaire media magnate.

Golkar Boss, Aburizal Bakrie

Some of us had hoped he might take a more robust stand against the bad elements, like the shariah-freaks who infest the present Cabinet, but unless he publicly slaps down this fanatic, we’d best be thinking again.

 “Not only headscarves, but also all Muslim officers must leave their work when the adzan [call for prayer in Islam] sounds,” Rusli said on Thursday as quoted by “Everyone, except those who are menstruating, must go to the mosque to perform their prayers.” Jakarta Post, Thursday, 1st March

Rusli Habibie

It says a lot about how much the ordinary Muslim people here really accord with backward shariah edicts, that the Governor has to ORDER them to wear these disfiguring scarves, and indeed that they need to be coerced into attending the mosque. Rusti certainly gives the game away about the reality of religious liberty in Indonesia these days.

Mind you, it also reminds us not to regard every woman in a jilbab as somehow benighted – if they’ve been warned that their job depends on it by a bigot apparatchik like Rusli, what choice do they have – this is a poor country, and a civil service salary compares well to the pittance on which most Indonesians have to survive.

PS Some of you will be asking where Gorontalo actually is. It’s part of Sulawesi, which in school we knew as Celebes, that big island with all those peninsulas hanging off it!