Lombok center to require female Muslim civil servants to wear niqab instead of mask – National
News Office (The Jakarta Post)
Thu 2 July 2020
The central regency of Lombok in western Nusa Tenggara is expected to require female Muslim officials to wear the niqab, as some of them have been seen not wearing masks – one of the health protocols imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regent Moh Suhaili Fadhil Thohir announced the plan at a regular gymnastics event on Friday in the courtyard of the Regent’s office on June 19, which was recorded in a video that has since been the subject of public debate. .
“I said it spontaneously because during the event on Friday, some refused to wear a mask for fear of running out of oxygen. But given the current situation, we need protection, ”he said on Wednesday.
Suhaili said the requirement for Muslims to wear the niqab had nothing to do with radicalism as it was simply an effort to prevent transmission of the virus among officials, who he said should give example to the community at large in central Lombok.
“It’s also fashion. They could match their hijab to the color of the veil. It has nothing to do with radicalism or excessive fanaticism, ”Suhaili said, quoted by Kompas.com, adding that the requirement would start next Friday.
Officials, however, are not required to wear a head-to-toe veil that also covers the body, but a niqab covering only the nose and mouth.
Suhaili also said the requirement was non-binding and that no regulations would be needed to enforce it. “There are no sanctions, just a nice and healthy move.”
Yayuh, an official from Lombok Tengah, had mixed feelings about the niqab requirement. While it could be a learning process to wear appropriate Muslim clothing, Yayuh was concerned that it would create a contrast to the gymnastic clothing they wore.
“We usually wear tight pants for the Friday event. If foreigners see it, it might be a bit inappropriate, ”Yayuh said, adding that it might be expensive to have this kind of niqab.
As of Thursday, West Nusa Tenggara had recorded 1,260 cases of COVID-19, of which 63 have become fatal. Lombok Tengah has recorded at least 114 cases, with four deaths. (syk)