Saturday, 22 February 2020

Minister of Religious Affairs Denies Issuing Niqab Ban

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Newly-appointed Minister of Religious Affairs, Fachrul Razi, has strongly denied information suggesting that he issued a ban on women wearing a niqab in State Ministries. He also asserts that he is not studying the possibility to apply such regulation and will not ban the religious veil. 

    “I never spoke of such a thing. That is not within the corridor of the Ministry of Religious Affairs,” said Fachrul in Jakarta on Thursday, October 31.

    Previously, many reports quoted a statement by Fachrul at the Hotel Best Western in Jakarta on Wednesday, October 30, regarding the possible threat from a person wearing a niqab in state-instances. The report also suggests that the minister is eyeing on making the policy into reality.

    As he was asked for confirmation, Fachrul stated that there is no religious basis regarding the use of niqab, moreover in a government environment. “State instances have a clear set of rules. If you are a civil servant, are you allowed to cover your face?” he asked.

    He asserts that he will ban any items that basically cover a person’s face and head, such as a full-face helmet. However this time, he was reluctant to specify what items are considered within this rule. 

    “I never mentioned niqab. It poses danger if someone enters [a building] and is unable to have their face identified,” said Fachrul Razi.

    FIKRI ARIGI