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Jakarta Post

Catholic university refuses to remove billboards with hijab-clad student

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Thu, December 8, 2016   /  09:35 pm
Catholic university refuses to remove billboards with hijab-clad student A Sanata Dharma Catholic University billboard advertising student enrollment is seen on the Gejayan campus in Yogyakarta. A hard-line Muslim group forced the university to take down the billboard depicting five students, including one wearing a hijab, on Thursday. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Sanata Dharma Catholic University in Yogyakarta would refuse to take down billboards depicting a female student wearing a hijab if the Muslim People’s Forum (FUI) asked it to, an official said on Thursday.

“If they [the FUI] come, we will not take down [the billboards] immediately,” university lecturer Father G. Budi Subanar told The Jakarta Post.

(Read also: FUI forces Christian university to drop billboard with hijab-clad student)

Speculation emerged on the issue after the FUI recently forced Duta Wacana Christian University to take down its billboards, which also depicted a female student wearing a hijab.

“The university leadership has said that any objections should be based on the existing regulations and conveyed through formal channels, through the local [Sleman regency] administration, which permitted the billboards. It could become a lesson for all of us,” Budi said.

Besides the one on the campus, he said the university had also installed billboards with the same image on Jl. Magelang and Jl. Urip Sumohardjo, two main roads that lead toward the campus.

“The one [billboard] within the campus, it’s like inside a house, it cannot be taken down,” Budi said.

He said the 61-year-old university taught students without discrimination. “Sanata Dharma accepts students with diverse ethnicities and religions. We have students from 33 provinces,” he added.

Separately, Sanata Dharma student Ardiya Dewi Nurahma, who wears a hijab, said she had not experienced discrimination on the campus, adding that the university provided a prayer room for Muslim students.

“It’s not true that there is Christianization at the university,” Ardiya said. (jun)

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