KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26: Malaysia’s government has endorsed a university’s ruling that requires non-Muslim women to wear headscarves on its campuses, a report said Wednesday.
The minister in charge of national unity, Maximus Ongkili, said the decision by the International Islamic University earlier this year was not a religious one, but merely part of university procedures.
“As the rule was approved by the university senate, it is not religious in nature but a matter of uniforms that must be followed. It does not breach basic human rights,” Ongkili was quoted as saying in the Star daily.
Malaysia’s population of 25 million people is dominated by some 60 percent of Muslim Malays, with Chinese and Indians making up 26 percent and 8.0 percent respectively.
The growing influence of Islam on Malaysian society over the past two decades has seen a major increase in the number of Malay Muslim women wearing headscarves.
Ongkili told parliament that Malaysians had to respect rules formulated by the government.
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