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Jakarta Post

How related is the niqab to radicalism?

  • Azis Anwar Fachrudin

Yogyakarta   /   Fri, November 8 2019   /  01:27 am

Antara/SenoThere is little difference between the recent plan by new Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi to recommend banning the niqab (full-faced veil) in government offices and last year’s cancelled niqab ban for students of Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (UIN) in Yogyakarta.The minister’s explicit justification was one of security; the UIN rector cited the face as a primary identity marker. But implicitly, both had the same underlying assumption: The niqab or cadar signifies an embrace of radicalism. Although it’s ill-defined, the term radicalism here simply means the ideology that attempts to change the Indonesian republic into an Islamic state.However, there is only a thin connection between wearing the niqab and radicalism. While there is no denying that women who — or whose husbands — conducted terror attacks over the past few years wore the niqab, most wom...