JAKARTA (Reuters) – Activists in Indonesia on Thursday lauded the federal government’s determination to ban public colleges from making spiritual apparel necessary, a transfer that adopted nationwide outrage over non-Muslim college students being compelled to put on a hijab.
Indonesia formally recognises six religions, with almost 90% of the inhabitants are Muslim, however concern has grown in latest years that extra conservative interpretations of Islam are fueling spiritual intolerance.
The federal government’s signing of the decree on Wednesday on spiritual apparel in faculty costume codes got here just a few weeks after information emerged a couple of faculty in West Sumatra province forcing non-Muslim feminine college students to put on a hijab.
The difficulty captured nationwide consideration due to a protest by the mother and father of one of many ladies, information of which unfold on social media.
Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Indonesia’s spiritual minister, mentioned the West Sumatra case was simply the “tip of the iceberg”.
“There aren’t any causes to infringe upon others’ freedom in the identify of non secular expression,” he instructed a information convention on Wednesday.
The particular autonomous province of Aceh, which enforces sharia regulation, is exempt from the decree, Training Minister Nadiem Makarim mentioned.
Beka Ulung Hapsara, a commissioner at Indonesia’s important rights physique, Komnas HAM, mentioned the decree respects individuals’s selection to specific their beliefs.
“Locations of schooling are an area to develop impartial souls freed from discrimination, the place respect is fostered,” he mentioned.
Andreas Harsono, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, mentioned colleges in greater than 20 provinces nonetheless make spiritual apparel necessary in their costume code, so the decree was a optimistic step.
“Many public colleges require ladies and feminine academics to put on the hijab that too usually immediate bullying, intimidation, social pressures, and in some circumstances, compelled resignation,” he mentioned.
(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Enhancing by)
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