JAKARTA, Indonesia – Muslim women would be banned from wearing tight pants in a devoutly Islamic district of Indonesia’s Aceh province under proposed regulations to take effect Jan. 1, an official said Wednesday.
It is the latest effort to promote strict moral values in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, where most of the roughly 200 million Muslims practice a moderate form of the faith.
Any Muslim caught violating the dress code, which also prohibits shorts for men, will be told to put on government-issued full-length skirts or loose pants, said Ramli Mansur, head of West Aceh District.
Patrolling Shariah, or Islamic police, will determine if clothing violates the dress code, he said.
“Wearing tight jeans exposes their bodies, which is strictly banned under Islam,” said Mansur, who appealed to civil servants to go beyond the rules and refuse government services to women wearing the banned clothing.
Islamic law is not enforced across the vast island nation. But bans on drinking alcohol, gambling and kissing in public, among other activities, have been enforced by some more conservative local governments in recent years.
Opinion polls show that a majority of Indonesians oppose the restrictions on dress and behavior that are being pushed by a small fringe of hardliners in the secular democracy.
Aceh, a semiautonomous region, made news last month when its provincial parliament passed a Shariah lawmaking adultery punishable by stoning to death. It also imposed prison sentences and public lashings against homosexuals and pedophiles.
Rights groups say the law violates international treaties and the Indonesian constitution.