Pornography and Politics – Indonesia

August 2006
Since its foundation, Indonesia has proudly maintained its secular tradition. But this secularism is being threatened by a new law which outlaws anything that arouses sexual desire.

As well as regulating the distribution of pornography, the bill will change the lives of all Indonesian women. “It regulates the way we behave, the way we dress, the way we conduct things,” complains Yenny Roysad. Penalties for wearing revealing clothing, even when out jogging, will be higher than those for rape. Opponents of the bill claim it is an attempt to impose Sharia Law on the whole country. As former first lady, Sinta Nuriyah Wahid complains: “It is a breach of the foundations of the state,” But already, over 20 municipalities have adopted bylaws based on the new bill.

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