Govt bans draft revision of sharia

At the end of his tenure as minister of religious affairs, Said Agil Al Munawwar sparked controversy on Tuesday by banning any discussion of a draft revision of the Body of Islamic Law that was produced by a team under his ministry.

"I declare any discussion, seminar or anything involving the draft revision banned," he said on Tuesday. Said Agil, whose term finished on Wednesday, added that he had ordered the confiscation of the original draft revision.

The minister delivered a keynote speech during the introduction of the draft here on Oct. 4.

However, he denied any connection between his ministry and the draft, which offers a new perspective on sharia, including a ban on polygamy, saying he had never issued a letter setting up the team responsible for the draft.

Last week, the Indonesian Ulemas Council wrote a letter to the ministry complaining that the draft violated sharia.