Ulma Haryanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian Council of Ulema have rejected comments from West Aceh district head Ramli Mansur that woman who fail to wear Islamic clothing are "asking to be raped."
Amidhan, chairman of the council, also known as MUI, said there was "no such thing" in Islam. "A scantily-clad women might trigger certain thoughts in a young man's head but it doesn't mean that she's asking to get raped."
Ninik Rahayu, deputy chairwoman of the National Commission on Violence Against Women, criticized the West Aceh bylaw that prohibits women from wearing tight clothing, including pants. "Even if a woman wears a ragged sack as clothing, men with perverted thoughts will still want to rape her," she said.
Ninik said the bylaw was an attempt to discriminate against women. "Why does the state, or in this case regional government, have to regulate how a woman has to dress herself?" she asked.
The Jakarta Globe Facebook and Twitter communities, meanwhile, reacted with outrage and open hostility to Ramli's comments. "What a douchebag, wrote Pratomo Hartono on the Globe's Facebook fan site. "Whoever said that should go kill himself with a fork.
Nino Candra, also on Facebook, described Ramli's answers to a sit-down interview with Globe journalist Dewi Kurniawati as "idiotic."
"I do pity Mr. Mansur for the narrow-mindedness. A man who says such things has perverted fantasies in his mind," noted Yoshua Budin on the social networking site.
Jodi Baskoro said she believed Ramli regarded women has little more than "chunks of meat without feeling," adding that she dared the politician for the sake of women in the world to study different perspectives and "learn to respect."
Selena Tiedoll, also on Facebook wrote: "Yes, I agree women should dress properly, but asking to be raped? Women get raped because it's their fault? You must tell men to control their lust, too! Even if all women wear burqa, but the man is very horny, rape will still occur anyway...."
The Globe's Twitter community was also incredulous, with one member simply stating that Ramli's comments were "crazy."