State Islamic University in Yogyakarta Bars Burkas on Campus

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  • Illustration of a burka.

    Illustration of a burka.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (UIN Suka) in Yogyakarta has barred its female students from wearing burkas during any campus activity.

    University Rector Yudian Wahyudi said there would be seven warnings and counseling sessions before the university expelled its female students who insisted on wearing burkas. A burka is an Islamic veil covering the entire body only leaving the area around the eyes exposed.

    “According to our records, there are 41 students that wear burkas from various faculties at the Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University,” he said on Monday, March 5.

    Yudian explained the UIN had formed a counseling team to nurture the 41 burka-wearing female students. He explained these students would be dismissed should they refuse to cooperate with campus policies after participating in seven counseling sessions.

    Yudian added the UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta is a state-university that is based on moderate Islamic views, most notably known as ‘Nusantara Islam’. These viewpoints on Islam acknowledge Indonesia’s 1945 Constitution, the Pancasila state ideology, and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

    "We also know that students who wear burkas sometimes forget about their own parents. The campus management will also communicate this issue with the student’s parents,” said Yudian.

    The UIN Suka is thus far still the only campus in Yogyakarta to place a ban on burkas, while another state-university in the province, Gadjah Mada University, has yet to issue a similar policy. Gadjah Mada opts to adopt a more persuasive strategy by fostering the value of nationalism as opposed to banning burkas