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Women To Be Banned From Straddling Motorbikes Under Sharia Law In Indonesian City Of Lhokseumawe

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An Indonesian city which follows Sharia Law is to ban women from straddling motorbikes, with the mayor branding the position "improper".

Suaidi Yahya, mayor of Lhokseumawa says the sight of women straddling bike seats violates Islamic values.

"Women sitting on motorbikes must not sit astride because it will provoke the male driver. It's also to protect women from an undesirable condition," mayor Suaidi Yahya told AFP.

"It's improper for women to sit astride. We implement Islamic law here. Women are allowed to straddle motorbikes if they are driving, as long as they are dressed in a Muslim way", he added.

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Yahya also claims passengers who sit side-saddle rarely fall off moving vehicles. The proposals will be evaluated by the local government in a month after which it could become a bylaw.

Muslim activist Ulil Abshar Adballa tweeted criticism for the move, the BBC reported.

He wrote: "How to ride a motorbike is not regulated in Sharia law. There is no mention of it in the Koran or Hadiths."

He added: "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."