Indonesia party using scarves in posters

July 3, 2009 at 2:52 PM

JAKARTA, July 3 (UPI) -- Indonesia's Golkar political party has taken an unusual approach to the presidential election by featuring head scarves known as jilbabs, an expert says.

Siti Musdah Mulia, an Islamic studies professor at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, said Golkar campaign posters feature the wives of the party's presidential and vice presidential candidates wearing the Muslim scarves, The New York Times said Sunday.

"It's the first time that the jilbab has become an issue in a presidential campaign in Indonesia," Mulia said.

Mulia said the party's use of the jilbabs comes at a time when the head scarves are gaining in popularity in Indonesia, but also during a confusing time regarding Islam's place in the country's political system.

"There are so many more important issues that should be addressed in the campaign," she said. "Why this one?"

The Times said despite the unique campaign from the Golkar Party, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Democratic Party is expected to retain his post in next week's election.

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