An Islamic city council in the Indonesian province of Aceh, which follows Sharia, has banned female citizens from passing gas.
Sayyid Yahia, mayor of the city, told media that a ban was needed, as farting does not go well with the Islamic values of modesty. “Muslim women are not allowed to fart with sound, it’s against Islamic teachings,” he said. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Feminists Association told local media they will attempt to block the smelly law as they deem it discriminatory.
Talking to The Wadiyan, mayor Sayyid Yahia said the law aims to save people’s morals and behaviors. “When you see woman fart loud, she appears like a man. But if she sit sideways and pass it quietly, she looks like a woman,” Sayyid said.
Although the proposed law does not ban “quiet fart,” passing gas with sound is actually not uncommon in Southeast Asia, particularly for women consuming potatoes and peas. Obviously, women maintain that they feel healthier, farting loud. Fathima Khan, a medical doctor at the Al Banni Islamic Hospital in Aceh’s capital is critical of the proposed law: “There is no need to question this practice, let alone regulate it, because people do it for their health and safety,” she said.
The mayor declined to give The Wadiyan details of what the punishment would be for violators. While another member at the City council, who wished not to be named, said if convicted by the sharia court, the offender could receive 20 lashes for small farts and up to 3 months prison time for larger ones.
On another note, the local Islamic scholars were mostly divided over the law. Well-known Muslim activists like Bshar Abdulla voiced his objection, “How to pass gas is not regulated in Sharia. There is no mention of it in the Koran,” he said on his Twitter account. However, “the Islamic tradition and the values of modesty does not support women farting loud,” said Mehmood Hussain, a scholar and stenchy supporter of the law.
Under the new regulation, the mayor says that only women in the public space are going to be monitored. “It will be the responsibility of the husband to make sure that his wife upholds Islamic values at home”. He also argued that there is no scientific evidence supporting health benefits of passing gas, in Koran.
The City council will be evaluating the regulation in a week, after which it could turn into a by-law.