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Jakarta Post

Allow students to wear niqab, university urged

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Wed, March 7, 2018   /   09:09 pm
Allow students to wear niqab, university urged This picture taken on November 12, 2017 shows an Indonesian Muslim woman riding a horse in Bekasi. Riding a horse or nailing an archery target is tough at the best of times -- it's even harder when you're wearing a niqab. But that isn't about to stop a group of Indonesian women who have banded together as they face prejudice against the face-covering veil at the center of a heated global debate over religious freedom and women's rights. (AFP/Adek Berry)

Members of several Muslim organizations descended on Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (UIN) in Yogyakarta to seek clarification over the campus’ decision to ban female students from wearing the niqab.

“We object if the university really imposed the ban,” said Fadlun Amin, a spokesman for the Yogyakarta branch of the Ukhuwah Islamiyah Forum (FUI), on Wednesday.

The FUI, along with the Yogyakarta Mosque Activists Forum and several other organizations, asked for a meeting with the campus’ management. They were welcomed by Waryono, the university’s deputy rector.

At the meeting, the organizations asked the university not to put restrictions on students wearing the niqab on campus.

“The UIN is an institution that can accept differences, so accept it. Let students wear the niqab in accordance with their faith,” said Fadlun who is a lecturer at Ahmad Dahlan University in Yogyakarta.

He added that the university said there were no specific restrictions. The organizations also asked for a direct meeting with the rector to clarify the matter.

“If there are restrictions, we will take further steps,” Fadlun said.

Waryono welcomed the visit and dialogue with the organizations, especially the discussions about a tolerant Islam.

He added that the university would still enact regulations on students, including campus attire.

Rector Yudian Wahyudi said the university decided to prohibit the niqab and offer a counseling program to students in order to promote a moderate Islamic dress code as well as to prevent religious extremism on campus.