The Jakarta Post
Your comments on the debate on whether female police officers are allowed to wear the hijab continues, with some human rights activists calling on the National Police to revise the regulation that prohibits female cops from wearing the Muslim headscarf:
To wear a hijab is a personal decision and should normally not be a discussion about uniforms. Uniform means to be wearing the same attire.
But in Indonesia, so many women wear hijabs every day as part of their religious belief and understanding. I can see no reason why this cannot be a part of a police uniform.
Actually, for me, it would be a sign that I could trust that police officer. We have this debate in Norway, too. In several professions hijab is permitted.
To deny it would be to shut many women out from parts of society.
The debate is needed in a democracy but the decision to be made later on must be smart and not take long.
I have seen several times the female public order officers (Satpol PP) wearing headscarves while they were working. I don't think it's too complicated if the National Police revised the regulation as long as it is not impractical in doing their job as intended.
Eddy Arjuna Zainy
I do not agree that 'donning a hijab is evidence that a policewoman has faith in God'. You cannot say a Muslim woman has no faith in God just because she is not wearing a hijab.
I still believe the police should be secular because Indonesia is a secular country.
If Indonesia becomes an Islamic Republic someday, all policewomen will have to wear headscarves, it will be mandatory and there will be no exception.
But today, their uniform is without headscarves ' stick to it without any exception. If the police allow changes now, what's next? In Turkey, it is recognized that wearing headscarves is a threat to secularism.
There is no compulsion in religion. We should not force the use of the hijab, like in Aceh, nor prohibit it, as in the police force.
I am sure we have the technology to design a headscarf that allows women police officers to carry out their duties effectively.
The female police officers are ready anytime to have a scuffle with criminals; and as such, they should not jeopardize themselves by wearing hijab.
I definitely prohibited my female workers from wearing hijab and neckties for the male workers.
Without their hijab they remain good looking, if not better.
I have never allowed hijab wearing female technician workers get too close to an aircraft with its engine on. Even if they removed their hijab they could not carry it with them; but by leaving it in the hangar it couldn't be blown away by the wind.
My workers (male and female) were my biggest asset; and as such I saw to it that they didn't get hurt for any reason whatsoever. They were thankful when they learned about it. My goodness, that was more than five decades ago!
Let us not allow fanaticism nor intolerance to endanger our lady police officers; or jeopardize their very function as police officers.
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