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Indonesia bans forced religious attire in public schools after video of Christian girl forced to use headscarf goes viral

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The Indonesian establishment led by President Joko Widodo has banned public schools from making religious dress compulsory after a video went viral in which a 16-year-old Christian woman was forced to wear a Hijab in the classroom, BBC.

The video which went viral showed officials at a vocational school insisting on the girl’s parents that the school has a rule that all female students must wear the Islamic headscarf. The parents smuggled the video and posted it on social media, prompting a backlash online.

According to a AFP report, activists say that for years, non-Muslim girls have been forced to wear the hijab in the country.

After issuing the directive banning the compulsory use of the hijab in schools, the Indonesian government made it clear that non-compliant schools will be penalized.

A predominantly Muslim nation that officially recognizes six other religions, Indonesia has given its public schools 30 days to repeal all existing rules in this regard. Schools that do not respect the decree of the establishment may be sanctioned in the coming days.

It should be noted that the Minister of Education and Culture of the Southeast Asian Nation, Nadiem Makarim, stressed that the choice to wear religious attire is the right of an individual and not the decision of a school.

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