Indonesia government bans forced religious attire in schools

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Feb 05, 2021, 05:01 PM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The order has come after it was revealed that a schoolgirl, practising Christian faith, was forced to wear a headscarf in her class

Indonesia has told public schools that they will not be allowed to make any religious attire compulsory.

The order has come after it was revealed that a schoolgirl, practising Christian faith, was forced to wear a headscarf in her class. She is a 16-year-old girl who attends a school that has made it compulsory for children to wear the Muslim headscarf.

After the 16-year-old Christian girl's story went viral, the government has given 30 days to all schools to reverse and revoke any such existing rules in their schools.

It was made clear by Indonesia's Minister for Education and Culture, Nadiem Makarim, that wearing any religious attire is "an individual's right… it is not the school's decision"

The ban came in place on Wednesday, and it was made clear that all the schools which do not comply with the set rule will have to face the sanctions.

This story of the 16-year-old was captured on tape by her parents during an official meeting, which they secretly filmed.

"Almost every day, my daughter has been summoned for not wearing a headscarf, and her answer is that she is not Muslim," Elianu Hia, the father of the girl, told BBC News Indonesia. 

"If I (force) my daughter to wear the headscarf, I will be lying about my daughter's identity," he said. "Where are my religious rights? This is a public school after all."

The school in question had later, however, called a press conference and apologised, adding that the children will be allowed to dress according to their own religious beliefs from now onwards.

Indonesia's religious affairs minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas also opposed this thought process and said, "Religions do not promote conflict, neither do they justify acting unfairly against those who are different."
 

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