Antara, Jakarta – The spokesperson of the Religious Affairs Ministry, Abdul Rochman, on Thursday addressed a local regulation of the Serang City government in Banten Province that bans restaurants and cafes from opening business at daytime during Ramadan.
Rochman criticized this policy as an example of one that "tends to exaggerate" practicing religious teachings and does not coincide with the principle of moderation.
He said that the ban limits public access from working and conducting business. Moreover, the presence of restaurants and similar businesses are needed for those who are not performing the religious practice of fasting. The ban, he added, also tends to be discriminative and violates basic human rights.
Rochman asked the Serang City administration to review this policy and to put forth policies that reflect mutual respect, both for Muslims who practicing fasting and other religious believers.
"I hope this can be reviewed again. Those who are not fasting are expected to respect those who are and vice versa, those who are fasting can refrain and endure practicing their religious fasting," said the Religious Affairs spokesperson.
Restaurants that are caught open during the day before Muslims break their Ramadan fasting in Serang City face sanctions and a three month prison sentence.