1. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Jan '13 09:56
    Indonesia city to ban women 'straddling motorbikes'

    A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh which follows Sharia has ordered female passengers not to straddle motorbikes behind male drivers.

    Suaidi Yahya, mayor of Lhokseumawe, says it aims to save people's "morals and behaviours".

    Leaflets have been sent out to government offices and residents to inform them about the regulation.

    Aceh is the only Indonesian province that follows Sharia.

    Under the new regulation, the mayor says that women passengers are only allowed to sit "side-saddle" because straddling the bike seat violates Islamic values.

    "When you see a woman straddle, she looks like a man. But if she sits side-saddle, she looks like a woman," Suaidi said.

    He added that passengers who sat side-saddle rarely fell off.

    The local government will be evaluating the regulation in a month, after which it could turn into a by-law, he added.

    When asked if women who did not follow the rule would be punished, Suaidi said: "Once it has become a by-law, automatically there will be sanctions."

    The regulation has been met with criticism from well-known Muslim activists like Ulil Abshar Abdalla, who is based in the capital, Jakarta.

    "How to ride a motorbike is not regulated in Sharia. There is no mention of it in the Koran or Hadiths," he said on his Twitter account, referring to the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran.

    "In a democratic country, what is claimed to be Sharia must be assessed by the public's common sense if the government aims to turn the regulation into law."


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20896966

    How can societies go about deciding how to/whether to regulate "morals and behaviours" that are culturally and spiritually relevant at a local level? What should be the rights of dissenters?
  2. Joined
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    04 Jan '13 10:35
    Originally posted by FMF
    [b]Indonesia city to ban women 'straddling motorbikes'

    [quote]A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh which follows Sharia has ordered female passengers not to straddle motorbikes behind male drivers.

    Suaidi Yahya, mayor of Lhokseumawe, says it aims to save people's "morals and behaviours".

    Leaflets have been sent out to government offices and res ...[text shortened]... piritually relevant at a local level? What should be the rights of dissenters?[/b]
    If the moral code is based on religious dogma or interpretation of religious text then the dissenter should have the right to ignore the bye law, it should be left to the conscience of the individual.
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Jan '13 10:59
    Originally posted by kevcvs57
    If the moral code is based on religious dogma or interpretation of religious text then the dissenter should have the right to ignore the bye law, it should be left to the conscience of the individual.
    But don't culture, tradition and beliefs overlap? Should all "morals and behaviours" be left to the conscience of the individual? Where [and how] should lines be drawn?

    Should the issue of public nakedness, for example, be a matter of conscience? Should whether or not to walk around naked be up to "the dissenter"?
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    04 Jan '13 11:34
    Originally posted by FMF
    But don't culture, tradition and beliefs overlap? Should all "morals and behaviours" be left to the conscience of the individual? Where [and how] should lines be drawn?

    Should the issue of public nakedness, for example, be a matter of conscience? Should whether or not to walk around naked be up to "the dissenter"?
    As you allude to, 'public' nakedness is often restricted. But it is also not always totally banned in public (e.g. nudist beaches, some theatre etc). You can also go naked in your house with other consenting adults etc. You may also require those conducting practices other people find distasteful to provide warnings to avoid causing unnecessary offence.

    A reasonable society only restricts an individual's liberty to the extent that it can be reasonably justified and makes allowance as best it can for practices that some may find offensive, but others not. This often ends in a fudge and silly compromises, but it is at least an attempt to make society work for as many people as possible without one group dictating to others how they can and cannot behave.

    None of these considerations seem to be present here, and therefore the restriction is unreasonable.
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Jan '13 11:42
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    A reasonable society...
    The question is how does a society determine what is reasonable and unreasonable.

    Voting?
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    04 Jan '13 12:062 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    The question is how does a society determine what is reasonable and unreasonable.

    Voting?
    Well, I think I can see where this is heading but my process would be:

    1 Discuss and agree some key principles about what individual liberty should be

    2 Apply those principles fairly to any issue on a case-by-case basis

    3 Revisit those key principles regularly in the light of decisions taken, changes in social values etc and modify them as needs be

    As we are discussing regulation, these are (or should be) matters for democratically elected representatives who should seek the widest range of views from the people they represent as is reasonably practicable.
  7. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Jan '13 12:37
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    1 Discuss and agree some key principles about what individual liberty should be

    2 Apply those principles fairly to any issue on a case-by-case basis

    3 Revisit those key principles regularly in the light of decisions taken, changes in social values etc and modify them as needs be
    Do you imagine that the city of Lhokseumawe could end up with a ban on women straddling motorbikes if they followed your 3 point plan above?
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    04 Jan '13 12:571 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Do you imagine that the city of Lhokseumawe could end up with a ban on women straddling motorbikes if they followed your 3 point plan above?
    Whether Lhokseumawe will or could end up doing so, I could not possibly comment on. I think you must be in a far better position to answer that question than me.

    However, I would accept that, under my plan, it would be possible for a society to end up imposing such a ban.
  9. Standard memberRJHinds
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    04 Jan '13 19:21
    Originally posted by FMF
    [b]Indonesia city to ban women 'straddling motorbikes'

    [quote]A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh which follows Sharia has ordered female passengers not to straddle motorbikes behind male drivers.

    Suaidi Yahya, mayor of Lhokseumawe, says it aims to save people's "morals and behaviours".

    Leaflets have been sent out to government offices and res ...[text shortened]... piritually relevant at a local level? What should be the rights of dissenters?[/b]
    He added that passengers who sat side-saddle rarely fell off.

    I wonder if that is because women rarely ride motorbikes side-saddle.
    What is his idea of rarely? Wouldn't it be better if the women never fell off?
  10. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    04 Jan '13 20:08
    A woman straddled behind a man is a classic "I'm a biker bitch whore" look. I can see where the concern comes from.
  11. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    04 Jan '13 20:56
    Originally posted by FMF
    [b]Indonesia city to ban women 'straddling motorbikes'

    [quote]A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh which follows Sharia has ordered female passengers not to straddle motorbikes behind male drivers.

    Suaidi Yahya, mayor of Lhokseumawe, says it aims to save people's "morals and behaviours".

    Leaflets have been sent out to government offices and res ...[text shortened]... piritually relevant at a local level? What should be the rights of dissenters?[/b]
    They can do what they're already doing, which is debating the issue and weighing issues like the safety of the rider vs. the prevailing moral/social/religious customs.

    The main thing I find distasteful is the immediate appeal to a specific religion (Islam) for authority to make laws for all of the people, some of whom aren't part of the faith. Other beliefs should be considered.
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    04 Jan '13 22:31
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    A woman straddled behind a man is a classic "I'm a biker bitch whore" look. I can see where the concern comes from.
    Does that work on a 50 cc moped?
  13. SubscriberSuzianne
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    04 Jan '13 22:40
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    A woman straddled behind a man is a classic "I'm a biker bitch whore" look. I can see where the concern comes from.
    What a ridiculous sexist comment.
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    04 Jan '13 23:34
    Originally posted by FMF
    [b]Indonesia city to ban women 'straddling motorbikes'

    [quote]A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh which follows Sharia has ordered female passengers not to straddle motorbikes behind male drivers.

    Suaidi Yahya, mayor of Lhokseumawe, says it aims to save people's "morals and behaviours".

    Leaflets have been sent out to government offices and res ...[text shortened]... piritually relevant at a local level? What should be the rights of dissenters?[/b]
    The live in a democracy don't they? Screw'em, mob rules.
  15. SubscriberFMF
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    05 Jan '13 01:47
    Originally posted by whodey
    The live in a democracy don't they? Screw'em, mob rules.
    How can societies go about deciding how to regulate "morals and behaviours" that are culturally and spiritually relevant at a local level?
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