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Priest slams school dress codes

Pupils 'being forced to wear Muslim dress regardless of religion'

Father Aloysius Budi Purnomo Father Aloysius Budi Purnomo
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • March 24, 2011
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A priest from the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference has condemned the fact that many of the country’s school children are obliged to wear Muslim clothing, regardless of their faith.

“I heard some Catholics and Muslims discussing  tolerance in schools at an interreligious program  in  Central Java,”  said Father Aloysius Budi Purnomo, a member of the Conference’s Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. “They said both Muslims and non-Muslims  in schools around Java  were forced to wear Muslim attire.”

“We are plural, but intolerance still happens,”  he added. “ It is something we cannot really understand.”

Fr. Purnomo’s comments coincide with a survey, released on March 23, which revealed  high levels of  intolerance among religion teachers in Jakarta.

Commissioned by the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS),  the survey was conducted by the Center for the Study of Islam and Society of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University and Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies .

ICRS Director Siti Syamsiyatun pointed out that many religion teachers show  higher intolerance than usual because they are unwilling  to interact with people from different religious backgrounds.

IJ13748.1646
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