Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Flog it, girl!

Aparrently in Sudan women get flogged for wearing trousers.

From the New York Times [1]:
"The 1991 indecency law was adopted by Sudan's Islamic regime which came to power after a coup led by President Omar Al Bashir in 1989. It follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law that imposes physical punishment on ''those who commit an indecent act that violates public morale; or who dress indecently.''

"Trousers are considered indecent under the law."

"Public order cases usually involve quick summary trials with sentences carried out shortly afterward, as was the case with the 10 of the 13 women arrested earlier this month. They were flogged and fined 250 Sudanese pounds, or about $120." [2]

So at lunch we mentioned this to our female colleagues, who are mostly muslim women, to get their opinion.

After the first reaction of "that's terrible!" and "oh, how could they!", we asked:

What would they say if

1. Indonesia adopted the Islamic law (which by the way were being pushed by certain political parties but proven unpopular [3])
2. by that making the act of wearing trousers punishable by flogging?*

All of them have similar answer:

"I don't need anybody telling me what I should or should not wear.
I wear what I want to wear.
They can go flog themselves."

Ah. Indonesian women. Who can resist?

* Note to sensitive reader: please bear in mind this is an 'if' question. A hypothetical one.



Blogger Rob Baiton said...

Is it just a matter of time?

I am guessing that this might happen at about the same time as a Pan-Asian Caliphate.

With a bit of luck the Caliphate won't include Australia.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

just a matter of time?
you really think so Rob?

We hope not.
And almost certain it won't include Australia...

Nothing can force you to give up your Jägermeister... ;)

4:07 PM  
Blogger Rob Baiton said...


There is a question mark at the end of that, right? :D

In answering my own question. It depends on whether you believe a Pan-Asian Caliphate to be a possibility. If not, then it is not just a matter of time, but will not ever happen.

Nope. Nothing can force me to give up the Jagermeister, except perhaps cirrhosis of the liver.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Hendro Wijaya said...

I can understand Rob's perspective though.

I've found many people have no idea about what real Indonesia looks like. You got to live inside the country to have clear perspective that Indonesians are so far apart compare to the middle-east in terms of socio-cultural perspective.

However, all i see in media here (as someone who live outside Indonesia), is that we're not that much different compare to middle-east.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

Rob, cirrhosis of the liver?
That sounds scary...

4:57 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...


very good point.

That's probably one more reason for you and us to blog about Indonesia's point of view.
So people can understand Indonesia better.

On Rob's case however, he's lived in Indonesia for a while so he probably has immense understanding of the country.

Right Rob?

5:07 PM  
Blogger Kim the ESL Tutor said...

I guess it just all comes down to respecting different cultures, and respecting the law of a country. If pants are illegal in a country, then they shouldn't be worn. Simple as that.

Drugs are illegal in my country - so, if people here choose to do drugs, they can suffer the consequences. It's not really up to the public to make the decisions. Sad, but the truth... And it's the same everywhere.

Anyway, we should look at why these laws are introduced. Sudan goes by what is "made out" to be Islamic law (bear in mind that no country in the world follows Shariah 100%).

There is a difference in opinion among Muslim scholars about whether pants are allowed for women or not, mainly because it's unIslamic to dress like the opposite sex. It is assumed by many scholars that pants should be for males only while women should wear skirts and dresses.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...


thank you for your input.
Agree with you, we should respect the culture and the law.

One point to add, people do have a say in what should become law.
That's why we have democracy. We elected our reps to the legislative body, and they make the law.

Granted that it does not always work the way the public wanted (there is always corruption, nepotism etc), but the system is there (and can be improved)...

Thanks again for dropping by.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have to disagree with KimDonesia. Respecting cultures, yes but laws are to be fallowed not respected. I respect the women that got flogged and people who have respect for other people. That would not include the floggers. The fact that something is a law does not mean it is ok. If a law was somehow passed where you live that declared women to be public property of any man who wishes to take them, would you prefer the law to be respected or you?

12:02 AM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

we appreciate your opinion. And you are right to say just because it is law does not mean it is ok.

If there is something wrong with our law, then it is partly our fault, because we elected the people who made the law. But that also means, we the people have the power to change it.

But as long as it is still law, then we the people must obey ( or follow, respect, whichever word that suits this) or we will be breaking that law.

In short, if we don't like it, change it don't break it.

We don't get to choose to obey only some part of the law that we like and ignore the other part that we don't like, right?

This is just our opinion, of course.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous kamil said...

But, IA, all significant, real changes happened when someone broke the law. Like how our fathers did not obey the Dutch, and how our friends did not obey Soeharto in 1998, etc.

I am not advocating any criminal activity, but there are reasons why people insist on doing things that are outlawed. And many can't wait until another (unfortunately, farce) elections.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...


you are entitled to your own opinion of course.
Although one could argue, during the Suharto downfall, the demonstrators did not really break any law, because freedom of speech is protected by the constitution. It was Suharto who broke the law by repressing it.

Our election is not perfect of course, but in comparison to the past (and to many other countries), it is still a lot better.

We just have to find a way to make it better, not worse.

(Even America with decades of experience in democratic election had problem in Florida...
Our problem in the last election was not as bad. Not even close.)

3:01 PM  

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