REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — The Chairman of Indonesia’s Ulemas Council (MUI) Amidhan has said that the decision of National Police Deputy Chief Commander General Oegroseno to delay the use of hijabs or headscarves by policewomen was an exaggeration.“The delay of permit for policewomen wanting to wear hijabs is an exaggeration,” Amidhan said on Thursday, 5/12.
He also expressed fear that the delay in granting the permit would spark a reaction to the decision.
He further noted that the decision to delay the permit to wear hijabs was groundless. If the reason was that wearing hijab violated the uniformity, why not create official hijab uniformity? If the reason was budgetary, the policewomen were ready to use their own money without burdening the government, he said.
“If the problem is getting the approval of the House of Representatives (DPR), why don’t they take it to the DPR?” the MUI Chairman asked.
He pointed out that Article 29 of the country’s 1945 Constitution stipulated that the state should guarantee the freedom of each citizen to embrace any religion and perform religious rituals based on his or her religion and faith.
“If the permit to use headscarves has to be delayed, there must be an explanation about the deadline and as to when policewomen can begin wearing hijabs. It can’t be that no regulations have been issued regarding the matter until now,” the MUI chairman said.
Meanwhile, Oegroseno said that the permit for policewomen to wear headscarves was still awaiting a regulation on police uniforms from the Police Chief.National Police Chief General Sutarman had earlier said that policewomen could wear headscarves if they wanted.
Oegroseno indicated that the matter of Indonesian policewomen insisting on wearing headscarves could be transferred temporarily to the Aceh police offices, where policewomen were allowed to wear hijabs while on duty.
The postponement of the National Police’s decision to allow policewomen to wear hijabs should not be an issue, he noted, on Thursday.The National Police had not banned the hijab, but had only postponed the implementation of the directive for the sake of uniformity, Oegroseno clarified.
National Police Chief General Sutarman had confirmed the postponement of the practice recently, indicating that a uniform headscarf for all policewomen had to be decided upon first.
“There are issues with the color of the headscarves they are currently wearing. I have, however received a lot of support with regards to the decision to allow policewomen to wear headscarves. This means that there is no problem, other than how to make them uniform,” explained Sutarman.
Sutarman had, however, agreed that it was one’s right to wear a headscarf.Hasyim Muzadi, the Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, insisted that the police impart its women employees the freedom to wear hijabs while on duty.
“I think it’s logical for the police to give (them) freedom. While the policewomen should be given a choice regarding wearing hijabs, there should also be a uniform standard,” he stated recently.