the stabbing of Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister
Wiranto by a suspected home-grown terrorist, in Pandeglang, Banten on Oct. 10,
I posted on my Facebook account, like many others, “wishing Pak Wiranto prompt
recovery, and may his family be given strength to get through the incident.”
Many others did the same.
a picture of Wiranto’s family during a funeral of his grandson in November 2018
which went viral on social media for its exposure of his daughter, Lia Wiranto,
who wore a Niqab (full-face veil) and her husband, who sat next to her,
wearing a white turban. At that time the image led to speculations that some
members of Wiranto’s family had joined a radical group.
while in mourning the chief security minister, who has to deal with radicalism
and terrorism himself, wrote a public letter to defend his family, saying he
had instilled nationalism in his family and had encouraged them to learn about
religion, both to equip themselves in the afterlife and for the benefit of
couple of minutes after I posted my hopes for Wiranto’s recovery, a Facebook
friend shared my post, saying that the picture made him wonder, “why did the
one who stabbed [Wiranto] have a picture [with him] together one year ago?”
disgusted and responded immediately: “No. He was not the one who stabbed
[Wiranto]”, to rectify the information so that it would not lead to further
misunderstanding, especially for those reading it.
Now it was
my turn to wonder why my friend could assume such a thing, even though the
answer was obvious -- because both Wiranto’s son-in-law and the attacker were
wearing “Muslim” attire. I do not blame my friend for making such comment as
today such clothes – the Niqab, turban and above ankle trousers for men
-- are often associated with terrorists.
been a number of incidents of discrimination against women wearing Niqab.
At least six female celebrities, as listed by the Tribunnews on May 18, 2018,
have been bullied or even lost their jobs as the price for wearing niqab,
including the actress Peggy Melati Sukma and Nuri Maulida.
countries have gone the extra mile to outlaw the wearing of Niqab citing
security concerns, such as France which imposed a total public ban since 2011.
This year the Netherlands partial ban on niqab became effective in
schools, hospitals and on public transport, despite critics saying it amounts
to state-sponsored religious discrimination and limits on freedom of
2018, the Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (UIN) of Yogyakarta was in
the spotlight after the rectorate wanted to hold a coaching program for female
students wearing Niqab, which was mistakenly understood as a ban on
wearing Niqab on campus. Yet following public pressure especially from
the conservative religious mass organizations, the plan was later halted with
the university saying it wanted to protect "conducive academic
Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Syaifudin in May 2018 urged the public to respect
women wearing a Niqab as part of their religious belief. In Islam, the
schools of thought within Islamic jurisprudence or Mazhab vary on the subject
of full-faced veils.
country's largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulema (NU) notes that even the
Syafi’i school, adopted by most NU members, is divided on stating that the Niqab
is either obligatory, Sunnah (subject to reward but not punished if ignored) or
even that Muslim women should not wear it. The Maliki School considers the full
veil Makruh (disliked or offensive) while the Hanafi school believes that young
Muslim women are forbidden to show their face to men. Therefore, within the NU
itself, there are different perspectives on Niqab, so the Muslim
individual should decide which teaching to follow.
women wearing Niqab and men with beards, turbans, and above ankle-length
trousers raise concerns whether they have been radicalized. There is indeed a
presumption that those who follow the hijrah (repentance) movement, which
usually starts with changing the way the followers dress into more “Islamic”
way, have a bigger chance to be infiltrated by radical ideologies. There might
be a few cases, but there are no grounds for generalization.
2018, a video circulated of a woman wearing a Niqab with her many dogs.
Suhesti, the resident of South Tangerang, Banten, said she has 11 dogs -- while
many Indonesian Muslims don’t even dare to pet dogs, as their saliva is
considered impure. The video confused many -- is Suhesti radicalized? The
assumption here is that a “real Muslim” wouldn’t go near dogs let alone an
graduate from an Islamic university, I have friends who wear a Niqab,
apparently following the currently trendy hijrah movement to be “more Islamic”.
Yet, we still mingle together and sometimes hang out at cafes. One said: “I
don’t care what people say, the clothing only covers my body as instructed by
the Quran. It has clearly nothing to do with being radical.”
that people may be too focused on something – clothing – and stretching it too
far to supposedly extremist views of the person wearing it. I’m a Muslim but I
wouldn’t sport a beard or adopt such a style. However, I know a few people who
dress like that in the belief it helps them to be better Muslims, while as
Wiranto said, they still share a sense of nationalism.
fashion perspective, I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favourite movies,
The Devil Wears Prada. Doug, a friend of the main character Andrea Sachs said:
“Fashion is not only about utility. An accessory is merely a piece of
iconography used to express individual identity.”
So, if some
Muslims want to dress up in a certain way according to their belief, why is it
so hard for us to understand that such attire has actually nothing to do with
Headline: Muslim attire is not terrorist uniform
Source: The Jakarta Post