Contemporary Islam

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 289-301

First online:

Muslim veil as politics: political autonomy, women and Syariah Islam in Aceh

  • Ma. Theresa R. MilallosAffiliated withDepartment of Economics and Political Science, College of Social Sciences, University of the Philippines–BaguioStudio 13, University of the Philippines–Baguio Walk-Up Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This article examines the interlinking of political autonomy, Syariah law and women in contemporary Aceh. Looking at Aceh’s historical precedents, current sociocultural and political developments cannot be seen as manifestations of Islamic revival. It would be misleading to look at the implementation of Syariah Islam in general and the enforcement of veiling in particular as signs of the radicalization of Islam. Islam in Aceh has always had political meanings. It shapes an identity characterized by a long collective history of rebellion against foreign oppression and repression. The revival however is seen in notions of gender dominance and order, which have profound consequences for women’s lives. Using articles from 2005 to 2006 in Serambi, a locally published newspaper in Aceh, an assessment is made of how Syariah Islam has affected women’s lives.


Islam Political Islam Aceh Shari’ah Islam Muslim veil Muslim women’s rights