A few years
ago in Aceh, a poster was put up by the Islamic Sharia Department in Banda Aceh
of the communications and information agency office, stating:
whose strand of hair is seen deliberately by a man who is not her husband will
be punished by 70,000 years in hell. One day in the afterlife is equivalent to
1,000 years in this world. A woman who enters hell will draw in with her two of
her men folk: her father, her brothers, her husband or her son. This is how
terrible the punishment is!”
In relation to the pressure to wear a Hijab (though many wear it voluntarily), women are starting to fight back. Many now see it as part of the Arabization of Indonesia and of the caliphate-pushing radical agenda. (Shutterstock/File)
a photo of the poster through one of my WhatsApp groups and shared it with
friends. One friend, Harry (not his real name), hilariously pointed out the
absurdity of it all.
radicals see women’s hair as pubic hair, and are Hijab underpants for women’s
heads?” he asked incredulously, referring to the headcover worn by Muslim women
added, to his knowledge, there is nothing in the Quran about women’s hair.
written on the poster is a 1,000 percent deviant!” he exclaimed.
It’s also a
mind-crushingly asinine, idiotic and imbecilic fantasy based on nothing but an
overly fertile, sick and twisted imagination!
him, Sinta Nuriyah, the widow of Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, Indonesia’s
fourth president (1999-2001), known for his liberal and often eccentric views,
corroborated Harry’s view. Like many respected ulema before her, she stated
recently that it was not obligatory for Muslim women to wear hijab. The
statement of Bu Sinta, 71, a well-respected figure in the prodemocracy
movement, went viral.
pointed out that she always tries to interpret Quranic verses contextually, not
textually. She conceded that many Muslims misinterpret the Quran because it has
gone through many interpretations, including by those who have their own
It’s also a
matter of deliberate distortion, which has reached alarmingly ridiculous
proportions. The poster in Aceh is just one example; there are many others, for
example, related to circumcision for girls, child marriage, polygamy, Mu’tah
(temporary marriage, in fact, thinly veiled prostitution), marital rape,
violence against women, notions of Halal and Haram, prohibition to wish
Christians a merry Christmas, the trigger-happy way some Muslims accuse others
of being Kafir (infidels), teaching kids intolerance, and even the abuse of
Islam to protect corruption and to scam people by using (or misusing) the Sharia
of what I see as being a three-pronged phenomenon across the nation: one,
creeping radicalization and intolerance; two, public duping by distorting Quran
verses or just making things up that have no basis at all in Sharia, Islamic
fiqh (jurisprudence) or Hadees (the Prophet’s sayings); and three, a kind of
moral panic meant to distract from the real issues people face that obviously
differ from region to region.
deliberate distortion and manipulation of Islam by a bunch of ignoramus
radicals could be said to be Indonesia’s Chernobyl. In fact it’s worse, because
it’s not an accident but deliberately engineered — not just by radicals but
also by mainstream politicians taking advantage of it to support their
political agenda. Notions of Sharia and Halal are also being commercialized,
where even fridges can be labeled Halal.
“system” — if you can call it that — is rotten to the core. It’s a deliberate
fabrication of toxic and evil lies intended to control the minds of many young
Indonesian Muslims and turn them into mindless zombie robots that eschew any
form of logic or true knowledge of Islam and Islamic history.
ultimately want Indonesia to become a caliphate. On YouTube, an “influencer”
known as Ustad Haikal Hassan, explains that the caliphate system is an ideal
political system that we should aim for. Unfortunately, he says that the
caliphate concept is not used by Muslims but by Europeans and it is now the
basis for the European Union. What?? Talk about being utterly clueless about
what both the EU and a caliphate are!
beginning of the Reform Era in 1998, Indonesian Muslims have become more and
more conservative, abiding by (mis)interpretations of text rather than going by
the spirit of Islam that embodies peace, mutual respect and love.
over 20 years into the Reform Era, I reckon we are now in Jahiliyya (age of
ignorance) of Islam in Indonesia, which thrives on hypocrisy, greed and ego and
power-driven motives. Radicals so easily point their fingers at others accusing
them of blasphemy, when in fact it is they who are committing blasphemy — of
the worse kind because it’s done with evil intent.
in the seventh century, was intended as an “antidote” to Arabia, which was then
considered an age of Jahiliyya. So, it’s a pretty ironic state of affairs that
we have become what we once fought against.
to the pressure to wear a Hijab (though many wear it voluntarily), women are
starting to fight back. Many now see it as part of the Arabisation of Indonesia
and of the caliphate-pushing radical agenda.
year, Indiah, a friend who has been wearing the Hijab since 2003 after she went
on the Haj, told me she was planning to unveil herself in 2020.
She is also
one of the proponents of the Selasa Berkebaya (Kebaya on Tuesdays) movement, Kebaya
being a blouse usually worn with a batik sarong, considered the Indonesian
progressive Ustad known as Gus Miftah (Miftah Maulana Habiburrahman) recounts
how his wife now no longer wears the Hijab. She wore it for almost three years,
especially when accompanying her husband. One day, he suggested that she take
it off “to save Indonesia from the raging influence of Arabic culture”.
pretty happy about it, as she didn’t wear the veil before marrying him. Gus
Miftah is now the only Ustad whose wife doesn’t wear a Hijab. You can imagine
the bullying they both received, but they stood their ground.
to Ibu Sinta, some women activists have respectfully asked: Why doesn’t she
take off her headcover, even though it’s not a Hijab, but it’s still a
headcover. Ayo Bu Sinta, just do it! You’d go triple viral!
Suryakusuma is the author of Julia’s Jihad
Headline: Cover men's eyes, not women's hair!
Source: The Jakarta Post