The Aceh office of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission has proposed a draft of the province's broadcasting qanun , or bylaw, that will be used as a standard to censor films, TV and programs to ensure they adhere to Islamic law.
The draft, however, received strong opposition from the local branch of the Independent Journalists Association (AJI), which objected on the grounds that the proposed measure violated press freedom laws.
Mukhtaruddin Yakob, head of the local branch of the AJI, said the draft had been submitted at the end of January to the governor's office for preliminary review: The proposed qanun is inconsistent with the [national] Press Law and the Broadcasting
Law, he told the Jakarta Globe.
Mukhtaruddin said the qanun would require inappropriate censorship of the program content of broadcasters operating in the staunchly Islamic province.
The proposed bylaw would require radio and television stations to broadcast live the obligatory weekly prayer on Fridays and prohibit them from airing crime reconstructions, obscene material and sexual harassment cases.
It also bans broadcasters from airing fund-raising efforts that are not in the Muslims' interests, Mukhtaruddin said.
Under the qanun, movies, television shows (including soap operas and documentaries) and commercials would be subject to censorship by the Aceh Film Censorship Board and Aceh Film Advisory Board (Bapfida).
The Aceh Provincial office of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission said it has proposed a draft regulation to ban non-islamic
contents of broadcasting in the province. journalists.
In a discussion held by the Alliance of Independent Journalists a member of the Provincial Broadcasting Commission Muhammad Yusuf said the specific law or Qanun will authorize the regional authorities to impose further censorship on all film or
television and radio production despite having past the National Censorship Body.
The draft regulation will also allow regional government to ban all forms of show of programs ranging from fund-raising, educational, documentaries, films, soap operas, dramas, features and investigative news, songs, music, advertising, health
service messages, quizzes, and religious programs which do not serve the interests of Islam.
The Alliance of Independent Journalists, organizer of the discussion said it rejected the regulation and will file a judiciary review to the legal basis of the regulation.
The Indonesian city of Tasikmalaya in West Java is seeking to implement Sharia based laws which would make it compulsory for all Muslim women in the city to wear headscarfs and criminalise homosexuality. The law also outlaws adultery, pornography and the
consumption of alcohol within the municipality's borders.
Homosexuality is not an offence under Indonesia's national laws. However many local government areas within the country have sought to ban it by including it in local public morality laws.
The Tasikmalaya law was originally passed by councillors from Islamic parties in 2009 but city officials have taken until now to develop the regulations needed to implement it.
Tasikmalaya city secretary Tio Indra Setiadi told OnIslam.net that the city would set up a squad of Sharia police to enforce the law like those already operating in Indonesia's province of Aceh. He said: people intending to report violations of the
bylaw will face difficulties if we don't have an apparatus to enforce it.
The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has the power to throw out the law within 30 days if he believes it conflicts with constitutional human rights protections, or it can be challenged in the Supreme Court of Indonesia. Recent reports
suggest that Indonesia's Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi may also be prepared to act to block the law or require the watering down of some components of it.
The authorities of the district of North Aceh have issued an edict forbidding women to dance in public.
The incident has sparked protests by human rights activists and ordinary citizens, who describe the regulation as bizarre.
The law that forbids women to dance in public, recently completed but already a source of lively debate, was signed by the head of the district of North Aceh Muhammad Thaib. He claims that the way in which women dance could easily fuel corporal
desire in men. And, according to the dictates of Islam, this is not right.
Among the many who have taken to the streets to demonstrate, is a local dancer and choreographer Affandi who says that such regulation is unfounded and beyond any logic. If the authorities want to issue a regulation of any kind - he adds - they
would do better to deal with corruption, rather than targeting the arts. Although he accepts the fact that Islam (the local version) prevents women from reciting prayers in public, because their voice could stir men.