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Banyuwangi Regent Apologies over Compulsory Hijab at School
TEMPO/Bram Selo Agung
Monday, 17 July, 2017 | 12:32 WIB
Banyuwangi Regent Apologies over Compulsory Hijab at School

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Banyuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas has apologized to Yenima Swandina Alfa, a Christian student who was denied entrance into SMPN 3 Genteng state junior high school that applied a compulsory hijab rule.

Anas had a breakfast with the student in Banyuwangi, East Java, on the first day of school today.

The 44-year-old Regent has instructed schools to scrap rules that could discriminate based on religion, ethnicity and race.

Read: Police Delay Implementation of Hijab Uniforms for Women

The Regent said that the case is a lesson learned for state civil apparatus. “Wearing a hijab for Muslim students would not a problem, but students who are not Muslims should not be forced to wear it. School rules must not discriminate, [they] must provide the same opportunity regardless of SARA [religion and ethnicity],” Anas said.

Anas has called for respect for diversity. “I expect diversity to be seen as an advantage to build the region, instead of hampering it,” he said.

On headmasters who issued discriminatory rules, Anas has instructed the Education Office to take measures. “The Education Office will study the models of warning and discipline. A stern telling is a minimum [punishment]. I have instructed the Education Office to review all rules at schools, don’t let them issue rules contravening our national norms,” he said.

Earlier, a Christian student named Yenima was denied entrance into SMPN 3 Genteng junior high school in Banyuwangi due to compulsory hijab rule.

See: Indonesia Hijab Wearing Muslim Metal Group Challenges Stereotypes (Photos)

Regent Anas has promptly revoked the rule. “I hope this is the last one. We are trying to keep religious people from the effects of Jakarta politics, instead, such a sensitive rule was issued,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yenima’s parent Timotius Purno Ribowo has thanked Regent Anas for his fast response. “Actually, the problem has already been settled, but I’m touched by Pak Anas’ attention,” he said.

On the occasion, Anas motivated Yenima who aspires to become a midwife. Yenima has now been accepted by SMPN 1 Genteng junior high school which is more popular than SMPN 3 Genteng.




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