May 29, 2013
NORTH ACEH, Indonesia -- A women's rights group objected Saturday (May 25th) to a plan by North Aceh's district head to ban women from dancing in public places, local media reported.
District chief Muhammad Thaib said Saturday that, in line with his interpretation of Sharia law, he had banned all adult women from dancing when welcoming guests in North Aceh, and would replace them with boys and girls who "have not come of age", according to Tempo.
"We must not let [efforts to] preserve our culture destroy the value of Islamic laws, " Thaib said.
Masruchah, deputy chair of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), told The Jakarta Globe on Saturday that Thaib violated the rights of women to express themselves in art.
"Indonesia upholds the constitution, and it guarantees all citizens the right to express themselves, including in dancing," Masruchah said. "Dancing is a part of Indonesian culture to show people the local tradition. It should not be linked to someone's opinion about Islam. Islam indeed supports art and the right to express."