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School in Central Java Mandates Female Students to Wear a Niqab

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31 October 2017 12:44 WIB

Illustration of niqab. AP/Matt Dunham

TEMPO.CO, Tegal - A vocational high school in Tegal, Central Java, required its female students to wear a niqab, a head covering and scarf that conceals the face but leaves the eyes exposed.

The regulation adopted by SMK Attholibiyah went viral throughout social media for the past few days with an image depicting all of the female students sitting in their classes wearing black colored niqabs.

We paid a visit to the school that is located at Muncanglarang village in the Tegal highlands on Monday, October 30. What we encountered was exactly like the image that went viral. The female students wore ordinary Indonesian school uniforms but with an add-on black niqab.

Even though the students that major in Computer Network Engineering were wearing niqabs, the teacher was wearing a normal hijab.

One of the students we met and interviewed, Puput Fiara (17), said that she wore the niqab for the past year to comply with school regulations. She claims that she does not feel forced to wear the headscarf because it is also taught by Islam teachings.

“I have no problem wearing it, my parents know about this and they allowed it,” said Puput.

Other than mandating its female students to wear a niqab, school managements have also separated its students based on their gender. Principle Kustanto Widyamoko confirmed that the school required female students to wear a niqab since the past year.

According to Habib Sholeh, President of the Attolibiyah Foundation that supervises the school, the regulation was their initiative to avoid students falling into disobedience. “We [school managements] honestly want to take care of our students. We don’t want them to have romantic relationships, doing immoral activities, and other similar things,” said Sholeh.

Attolibiyah Foundation also supervises the Madrasah Ibtidaiyah (MI) and Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs) boarding school. According to Habib Sholeh, the niqab regulation only applies to students of the boarding school that also studies at SMK Attholibiyah.

MUHAMMAD IRSYAM FAIZ




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