Southeast Asia Muslim human rights advocates express concerns on the growth of politicized Islam in the ASEAN region and makes recommendations to ASEAN leaders at the 15th ASEAN Summit. A regional meeting of Southeast Asian human rights advocates was held in Jakarta on 16-17 October 2009 to examine how certain interpretations of Sharia laws are affecting the rights of the women in Muslim contexts in the region and undermining secularism and democratic institutions in such countries as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
The National Resilience Institute (Lemhanas) will facilitate a dialogue between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the National Commission for Women's Protection to eliminate 154 bylaws considered to discriminate against women and minorities. Lemhanas governor Muladi told a discussion on the national perspectives of bylaws Thursday that many bylaws violated the Constitution and had created public controversy that could lead to the disintegration of the nation.
Women wearing jeans and other trousers in West Aceh will now face sharia police, as will clothes vendors selling slacks for women. West Aceh Regent Ramli M.S. issued the controversial regulation on Tuesday. Those found wearing tight trousers, such as jeans, will have them cut by sharia police, and will be forced to wear loose-fitting attire.
The United Nations has lodged a complaint after Muslim morality police in Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province broke into a UN diplomatic compound and peered through windows at sleeping foreign diplomats.
The fundamental problem facing Muslims and others seeking to understand Islam is not there are too many Islams. There is only one Islam, but there are a thousand possible interpretations of the texts and precepts.