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Indonesian town bans women on bikes

Jan. 3, 2013 at 3:08 PM

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- An Indonesian town is set to ban women from straddling scooters or motorcycles because it strays from Islamic standards, town leaders said.

The Aceh town of Lhokseumawe will institute the ban in accordance with Sharia law, a set of strict Islamic rules that ban women from performing many tasks set aside for men.

"We've seen that people's behaviors and morals are getting far from Aceh's Islamic cultural values. Therefore we will issue a regulation that will ban women from straddling while sitting on the passenger's seat of motorcycles," Lhokseumawe Mayor Suaidi Yahya told the Jakarta Globe Wednesday. "We want to save women from things that will cause them to violate Sharia law. We wish to honor women with this ban, because they are delicate creatures."

Yahya also said the ban would help discourage women from wearing pants in public.

"It will be easier for women to avoid straddling motorcycles if all of them wear skirts," he said.

Information about the ban is being distributed to the townspeople, threatening "sanctions" if a woman violates the new law, though Yahya refused to say what those sanctions would be.

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