Girl defies ban on tudung in schools

SINGAPORE: An 11-year-old girl, who defied a government ban on wearing tudung to school yesterday, was barred from attending class. 

It was the second straight day that Nur Ashikeen Azhar was turned away for wearing tudung.  

Norashikin Azhar wearing a headscarf holds on to her father Azhar Ali outside Eunos Primary School in Singapore Thursday, Jan. 2, 2003 after being refused entry. - APpic

The issue has caused a stir in Singapore, where about 15% are Muslims. Though many Muslim women wear tudung at work and in public, the government bans them at schools, saying they could be divisive. 

Her father said he would write to the Education Ministry asking it to reconsider its stand and vowed to keep bringing his daughter to school. 

“My daughter wants to come to school but she wants to wear tudung,'' said Azhar Ali, the deputy youth chief of the Singapore Malay National Organisation. 

Authorities in Singapore have been especially sensitive to racial and religious issues following the recent arrest of 31 suspected Islamic terrorists. 

Azhar Ali speaks words of encouragement to daughter Norashikin Azhar after she was refused entry to Eunos Primary School for the second straight day in Singapore, Friday, Jan 3, 2003. - APpic

The tudung issue surfaced last year after four girls were told to either stop wearing or face suspension. Three have since been pulled out of school while the fourth has returned. 

“It is not only about the uniform. The government is now making the Muslim community unhappy and oppressed,'' said Muhamad Ali Aman, the secretary-general of the opposition group. 

On Thursday, Education Minister Teo Chee Hean accused the group of using the tudung issue for political gain, and reiterated the ban. 

“We should actually be concentrating on social bonding,'' said Teo. – AP 

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

  • Article type: metered
    User Type: anonymous web
    User Status:
    Campaign ID: 46
    Cxense type: free
    User access status: 3
    Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

    Next In Regional

    Olympics-Skateboarding-Japanese teen Nishiya takes gold in women's street
    Govt expected to table RMK-12 in Sept, Budget 2020 in Oct, says PM
    Early crypto mogul says China crackdown may lead to outright ban
    Contract medical officers walk out nationwide in support of Hartal, call for immediate reform
    No plans to extend Emergency beyond Aug 1, says Takiyuddin
    China’s EdTech assault hits investors from Tiger to Temasek
    More than 70 million people in Japan watched opening ceremony
    New warning system to sound alarm on rainforest ‘tipping points’
    Activists team up to combat online sale of turtle eggs
    Olympics-Tokyo Games organisers report 16 new Games-related COVID-19 cases

    Stories You'll Enjoy