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Indonesia: A school shaves the heads of students accused of improperly wearing the hijab

Indonesia: A school shaves the heads of students accused of improperly wearing the hijab

A school in Indonesia has partially shaved the hair of 12 girls accused of improperly wearing the Islamic headscarf, a school principal announced Monday.

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And in some conservative parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, students are required to wear the headscarf, which is part of the public school uniform.

A teacher at SMPN 1 Middle School in the city of Lamongan, East Java province, disciplined 14 Muslim students for inappropriate clothing by shaving part of their hair, according to Harto, the principal of the school.

“Il n’y a pas d’obligation for les élèves de porter le hijab mais on leur conseillait de porter des bonnets pour avoir une correct apparence”, a declaré à l’AFP le directeur, who is nombreux Indonesiens ne porte qu’ name.

Those students who were not wearing a skullcap left part of their headscarf sticking out.

He added that after the people’s protests, “we apologized to the people.”

The principal added that the teacher has been suspended and the school will provide psychological assistance to the children concerned.

Human rights groups called for the teacher, whose identity was not disclosed, to be dismissed.

“The Lamongan case is perhaps the worst case of intimidation in Indonesia,” said Andreas Harsono, Indonesia staff member at Human Rights Watch.

And this human rights association reported, in a report issued in 2021, that some female students were subjected to cutting their headscarves for not wearing it according to the rules, while others obtained bad grades or were expelled for not wearing the Islamic headscarf.

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The case of a Christian student who was forced to wear a hijab by her school in West Sumatra was reported in the media as one example among others.

The Indonesian government responded by issuing a decree in 2021 that allows students and adults in public schools to choose their own clothing and bans schools from making the Islamic headscarf compulsory.

But the Supreme Court overturned the text shortly after, finding it inconsistent with the law.

Indonesia officially recognizes six religions, but human rights advocates are concerned about the rise in religious intolerance in the country.