The God Discussion reported recently on Indonesian women being banned from riding on a motorbike, astride a male driver. The story stated that the ban was the latest in a long line of restrictions placed on women, which include the wearing of tight pants, provisions for the stoning of adulterers, the whipping of homosexuals and caning people for gambling and drinking alcohol.
Comments made by Suaidi Yahya, Mayor of Lhokseumawea, included,
“Women sitting on motorbikes must not sit astride because it will provoke the male driver. It’s also to protect women from an undesirable condition. It’s improper for women to sit astride. We implement Islamic law here.”
On Monday, another Indonesian official found himself the target of international outrage. A Parliamentary Commission hearing was held on 14 January 2013 to determine if Daming Sanusi is the right choice for the Indonesian Supreme Court.
As Daming was addressing the Commission, he made comments that suggested rape victims enjoy being violated.
According to the Indonesian news agency, Antara, and a story filed by CNN, Sanusi's comments were in response to a question regarding whether or not the death penalty should be applied to cases of rape.
"Consideration needs to be taken thoroughly for the imposition of death penalty for a rapist because in a rape case both the rapist and the victim enjoy it."
His comments have been spread widely over social media networks, sparking an immediate demand that his Supreme Court candidacy be rescinded.
According to the report, Ridwan Bakar, representing the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, issued a statement on 15 January 2013 that said,
"We ask legislators not to give the judge position to Daming, as he had offended people`s feeling by uttering inappropriate statement."
Daming responded by apologizing for his comments, which he admitted were out of control, then stated he was nervous and his comment was intended to be a joke.
Primastuti Handayani, the managing editor of the Jakarta Post was not impressed by Daming's apology, and commented this morning,
"The damage has been done. Nothing he said in his apology can heal the wound he caused."
Handayani also noted that this is not the firs time that inappropriate comments were made by an Indonesian official. According to the story, she referred to a case involving Fauzi Bowo, the Governor of Jakarta, who suggested that women should not be wearing miniskirts on public transportation, lest they be subject to 'unwanted consequences.'
Daming's chances of being appointed to the Supreme Court waned almost immediately, as political figures in the predominately Muslim country began to distance themselves from him.
In fact, Gede Pasek Saurdika, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission made it clear that his comments, along with the public reaction will be considered in their decision as to whether or not Daming ends up on the bench.
Daming is not without support, though. The Prosperous Justice Party still supports him for the Supreme Court.
For more details, commentary and relevant links, please visit CNN for the whole story.