Pray or be punished!

Pray or be punished!

Islamic officials in Indonesia are drawing up a bylaw that compels everyone to pray, or face sanctions

WHAT punishment awaits those who break the proposed new municipal bylaw in southwest Sumatra’s Bengkulu province is not yet known, as officials are still working on the plan.

But, according to this report, Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, above, thought the whole thing was daft, and said he objected to legislation that would require all residents of the capital of southwest Sumatra’s Bengkulu Province to attend Muslim midday prayer gatherings every Friday.

He said:

If it is only a call advising people to go to the mosque to pray, or to go to the church for the Christians, it’s fine.  But it’s not fine if they issue a bylaw which carries sanctions. They don’t have the authority, as religious affairs are under the authority of the central government.

Gamawan said that if the Bengkulu government passed the bylaw, his ministry would review it and decide whether it should stand or face annulment.

We’ll study it first.

The Religious Affairs Ministry’s Bengkulu office said the bylaw would oblige resident to pray five times daily in addition to joining in public prayer on Fridays.

Mukhlis, head of the office , said:

Yes, the bylaw is being prepared. The name of the bylaw is ‘Bengkuluku Religius.’ It will not only applied for mass prayer, but also five times daily prayer. There’s a tax bylaw; why not a bylaw about mass prayer?

Mukhlis said the bylaw was part of Mayor Hemli Hasan’s plan to recast Bengkulu as a religious city.

Although though the bylaw is still under deliberation, the city has already begun phasing it in for municipal employees, who are currently required to attend public Friday prayers once per month.

Mukhlis said that the city government was still deciding whether those who failed to comply would face sanctions.

Bengkulu is not the only place to experiment with prayer requirements: Nineteen untenured employees of Riau’s Rokan Hulu district government were fired in November of 2013 because they did not show up to 5 am prayers – a mandatory religious programme put in place by the local government – in what the Home Affairs Ministry’s Director General for Regional Autonomy Djohermanyah Djohan called a “strange ruling”.

9 responses to “Pray or be punished!”

  1. Brian Jordan says:

    But it’s not fine if they issue a bylaw which carries sanctions. They don’t have the authority, as religious affairs are under the authority of the central government.

    With opponents like this, who needs advocates?

  2. AgentCormac says:

    Yet more evidence (should we need it) that religion only survives through the use of threats, intimidation and violence, never through rationality, debate or (heaven forbid) evidence.

  3. jay says:

    Government is often a tool where one group of people uses force to make others behave the way they want them to, whether the motivation is religious, political, or social.

  4. barriejohn says:

    AC: Quite so.

    On the subject of religion and politics, there are some not-very-Christian sentiments being expressed by members of the Democratic Unionist Party at the present time:

    “Cheeky sod”, indeed!

  5. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Ian Paisley otherwise Lord Bannside. Well that’s good for a laugh. And he does love the Dr bit which I think he acquired at the Bob Jones theological college. Paisley, like so many other vainglorious bores is missing the limelight. The quality of his lack of judgement is revealed by this intervention. Silly sod.

  6. charlie says:

    If such a law passes and has punishments attached, I’d never visit that area and advise all I know to avoid it as well. I’d also boycott any and all products from that area. They demand religious observance, then let them make it on their own, no outside help of any kind, I’d even go so far as to deny them any help with a natural disaster. Let their sky fairy help them. Too harsh? Too bad. I have had my fill of religious bullshit and refuse to take any more of this absolute stupidity. Those who are damn fool enough to live under such a law deserve to be screwed by their “leaders” and the stupidity of the vile religions they support. Use your brain or fuck off.

  7. remigius says:

    Am I alone in thinking this is a good idea?

    If all members of the Crazy Club were required to abide by all the rules of the Crazy Club, then there would be very few members.

    F’intance. If Baroness Warsi were made to wear a veil, as stated in’t Qu’ran, and only abide by her husbands, Iftikhar Azam, wishes, would she still espouse Islam? Would she even be allowed to go on foreign freebies? Doubt it.

    And if all Christians were forced to obey the teachings of Jesus, ie follow the Old Testament laws – no matter what, til’ heaven and earth are no more. Yep. No mixed fibres. No prawn salad!

    Would they still wish to belong to such a club?

    Let’s force them who say we should all follow their laws, to actually follow their own laws.

    I bet they wouldn’t like it!

  8. Shiny shoes says:

    Fausi….Evil little shit.

  9. ian says:

    OT But a prospective Muslim MP is being threatened and efforts are being made by others including George Galloway for sanctions against him for tweeting a Jesus & Mo cartoon.

    There is however a counter petition to support him here:

    Any problems you can read the article and use the link on the NSS website: