Indonesia

Even jeans are too alluring for the Sharia police in Aceh

Sharia police in the Indonesian province of Aceh are stopping women dressed in jeans and forcing them to change into long government issued skirts. Read more...

Contributors

Jakarta’s poorest living off rubbish heaps

While the Indonesian authorities collect most of the islands' rubbish from the streets, they fail to actually dispose of it. By dawn, the growing mountains of rubbish on the outskirts of cities become the workplace for over 500,000 illegal workers. Known as trash pickers, they dig through the waste for any scrap that will fetch a price. Read more...

Is there an ethical way to turn crocodiles into handbags?

The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has released footage of reptiles being skinned alive in Indonesia in a bid to discredit the luxury leather industry. One of our Observers, who works at a crocodile farm in Australia, tells us what the industry standards ought to be. Read more...

Contributors

Will “Little Barry” be welcome in Indonesia?

Barack Obama has announced a trip to Indonesia, where he lived for four years as a child. But will he be welcomed with open arms? Just a week ago, a group of local Facebookers furious at the decision to erect a statue of Obama as a child in Jakarta filed a lawsuit against the local council for putting it up. Read more...

Contributors

The "Jewberry" and the "Muslim mobile" – making a business out of religious handsets

One of our Observers in Indonesia has alerted us to the launch of Hidaya, a Muslim-certified mobile phone. Meanwhile, over in the US, the "Jewberry" - a Blackberry on which you can read the Torah - is selling like hotcakes. Read more...

Price hikes leaving people hungry from Jakarta to Memphis

The world's worsening food crisis has finally made the headlines and grim forecasts for the endemic problem are causing widespread panic. We asked our Observers in Cameroon, Indonesia, Haiti and the USA to tell us how they're affected by the crunch. Read more...

Contributors

The return of the chastity belt

Photo: AFP (we didn't manage to find an amateur image of the trouser padlock)

A belt with lock and key is the newest accessory in some Indonesian massage parlours. But it’s not out of choice that the masseuses don these chastity belts. Read more...

"Obama never studied in an Islamic madrassa"

Rully Dasaad, a fellow pupil at Barack Obama's primary school - labeled as an "Islamic madrassa" by the conservative American media - tells us about their childhood growing up in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the polemic that it's causing now. Read more…

Mein Kampf in pride of place on bookshop shelves

Bookshop shelves displaying both Mein Kampf and a book about Barack Obama in a department store in Jakarta

Hitler's notorious diary ‘Mein Kampf' was translated into Indonesian in 2007. An immediate bestseller for publishers Narasi, it became one of their top five favourites. An employee from the publishing house explains why. Should we be worried about this seemingly unhealthy interest coming from the most populated Muslim country in the world? Read more...

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