After a Christmas service in Bandung was forcibly shut down by Islamic hardliners early last week, another militant Islamic group in Yogyakarta pressed a Christian university to remove some of their advertising materials showing a student wearing hijab.
More and more stories about intolerance have been in the news in Indonesia the past few weeks. Only a few days after a hardline Islamic group forcibly stopped a Christmas service in Bandung, a Christian university was pressured by a different group to have their ad removed because of a religious issue: one of the students shown in it was wearing a hijab.
The Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW) is being forced to take down one of their admissions advertising materials that features a student wearing the hijab. The Yogyakarta Police confirmed that UKDW was explicitly asked by the local hardline Islamic group Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) to do so.
Sri Sumarsih, spokeswoman and commissioner for the Yogyakarta Regional Police, told reporters that it was the UKDW’s public relations department that received the request from FUI.
The militant Islamic group found it inappropriate for a largely Christian university to have a Muslim student featured in its ad. The advertising materials came in the form of leaflets, posters, billboard ads, and others.
Critics claim this is yet another case of intolerance in Indonesia, despite the fact that the ad is supposedly trying to promote the idea of religious inclusion within the university.
This is not the first reported incident of the FUI pressuring other organizations that are not in line with their political views. The group reportedly threatened to burn a venue where a Yogyakarta feminist group was holding a concert earlier this year over a permit issue.
The militant group also halted the screening of “The Look of Silence” by the Universitas Gajah Mada. The Islamic hardliners did not favour the showing of a film that looked into the atrocities committed by Indonesians across suspected communist communities during the 1960s, at the peak of the anti-communist purge.