The Jakarta Post - Padang mayor defends sharia as good for development
From the above story, (which is well worth reading in whole):
"Padang Mayor Fauzi Bahar dismisses concerns about his mayoralty's gradual enactment of sharia, arguing that Islamic law is beneficial to development because it makes people more devout....
"Does religion hinder the government's effort?...It even helps it, right? So if I do something related to religion...so people are more devout...it will surely help improve morality, thereby boosting regional development as security will be assured, adolescent delinquency can be curbed and crimes reduced." "
But what exactly does this region require?:
" The mayoralty issued a bylaw in 2003 obliging junior high school students to be proficient in reciting the Koran, and since then has given an instruction on female students and civil servants to wear the headscarf in public, recommended crash courses in Islamic teachings during the Ramadhan fasting month as well as study sessions every Sunday morning for students.
Last month, it asked all mayoralty employees to pay alms from their monthly salary. "
So, it helps development by making its local government employees poorer?
And education wise:
" Like Padang, most cities and regencies have bylaws requiring the wearing of the headscarf by students and civil servants, as well as the ability to recite the Koran, beginning when they are young. Elementary school students who cannot read the Koran cannot move on to junior high, and people must be able to recite Koranic verses to marry."
Oh yes, this sounds just so helpful to economic development.
But note that there are objections to these developments:
" Academics and politicians have expressed alarm at the central government's inaction amid a flood of religion-based regional regulations with, they say, the potential to upset relations between religious groups, especially in encroaching on freedoms of minorities...
For Sudarto, director of Pusaka, a non-governmental organization promoting pluralism, the wave of regulations shows religion being manipulated by those in power"
This is all a worry.