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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: College students collect in entrance of their classroom on the Maitara island, in Tidore, North Maluku province

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – Activists in Indonesia on Thursday lauded the federal government’s choice to ban public faculties from making non secular apparel necessary, a transfer that adopted nationwide outrage over non-Muslim college students being pressured to put on a hijab.

Indonesia formally recognises six religions, with almost 90% of the inhabitants are Muslim, however concern has grown lately that extra conservative interpretations of Islam are fueling non secular intolerance.

The federal government’s signing of the decree on Wednesday on non secular apparel in class costume codes got here a number of weeks after information emerged a couple of college in West Sumatra province forcing non-Muslim feminine college students to put on a hijab.

The difficulty captured nationwide consideration due to a protest by the mother and father of one of many ladies, information of which unfold on social media.

Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Indonesia’s non secular minister, stated the West Sumatra case was simply the “tip of the iceberg”.

“There aren’t any causes to infringe upon others’ freedom within the identify of spiritual expression,” he instructed a information convention on Wednesday.

The particular autonomous province of Aceh, which enforces sharia legislation, is exempt from the decree, Training Minister Nadiem Makarim stated.

Beka Ulung Hapsara, a commissioner at Indonesia’s essential rights physique, Komnas HAM, stated the decree respects individuals’s selection to precise their beliefs.

“Locations of schooling are an area to develop unbiased souls freed from discrimination, the place respect is fostered,” he stated.

Andreas Harsono, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, stated faculties in additional than 20 provinces nonetheless make non secular apparel necessary of their costume code, so the decree was a constructive step.

“Many public faculties require ladies and feminine academics to put on the hijab that too typically immediate bullying, intimidation, social pressures, and in some instances, pressured resignation,” he stated.

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