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Speed bumps should be haram, say clerics in Indonesia

In Indonesia, clerics are calling the Islamic Council to issue a religious edict claiming speed bumps are haram.

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Traffic struggles along a main road in Indonesia. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images)

Authorities in Indonesia are reevaluating the use of speed bumps after local clerics demanded the traffic measure be considered haram.

According to Zaini Naim, the cleric in charge of Samarinda, East Kalimantan region, it was imperative that the Indonesian Council of Ulemas issue an official edict labeling the speed bumps either makruh, not recommended, or haram, forbidden.

"Prophet Muhammad once said if someone saw a rock on the street that could harm another road users, it is their obligation to get rid of that rock and any other obstacle on that street to make it more convenient for another users to pass the street,” he said, the Jakarta Post reported.

While fatwas aren't legally binding, they give moral guidance for many Muslims. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world.

According to Hary Prabowo, the head of the traffic section in the region, most of the speed bumps didn't comply with road standards.

“People tend to put up speed bumps without even applying for a permit to do so,” he said to the Jakarta Post.

Why the hatred for speed bumps? The road humps have been a common source of frustration all over the globe.

Reports find that speed bumps rack up thousands of dollars in medical and auto repair bills-- causing both damage to people's backs and their cars.

In Ghana, the medical director at a regional hospital urged the Ghana Highway Authority to remove all speed bumps as they were more likely to cause accidents than to prevent them.

In Montreal, firefighters expressed concern at the number of speed bumps that had appeared in some areas of the city-- prohibiting emergency vehicles from being able to get from one place to another.

Though a religious edict may be overkill, it seems that speed bumps may need to go.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/130213/speed-bumps-should-be-haram-say-clerics-indonesi