When the Muslim holy month of Ramadan arrives, it’s time to get your hair up and put on a hijab.
The Islamic headscarf is the most widely worn head cover in Indonesia and Indonesia is a nation of more than 150 million people, and the majority of them wear it.
However, there are also some religious sects who wear the headscarves of other faiths.
But why does a headscarb become an issue in Indonesia?
Is the headcover banned in Indonesia due to religion?
What about Indonesia’s controversial Islamic laws?
What do Muslim women’s rights groups and religious scholars say?
Follow the story of how a hijab was banned in Singapore.
“We don’t know the reason behind the ban, but we can see the religious sentiments are being hurt and we are being discriminated against,” says Ms Sultana.
“It is very upsetting that they have made a statement about their religious beliefs and not about the religious freedoms of Indonesia,” she says.
“We are concerned that our rights and freedoms are being violated.”
In Indonesia, it is illegal for anyone to wear religious headgear.
The headscarfs are compulsory in all schools, colleges and universities.
There are no exceptions to the ban on wearing religious headwear in public places, but it’s not always possible to cover your head in public.
In Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, the headdress is prohibited in the public areas of the city’s main train station.
“It was a difficult decision for us because it was a religious issue and we had to wear the hijab and we could not wear it in the main square in Jakarta,” says Anju Noman, who has two young children and a husband and is a teacher.
The head cover was banned at the end of last year and a year ago, the Jakarta Islamic Council said it would not allow it in schools, universities or government buildings.
Ms Noman says she was worried about being accused of blasphemy and not being able to practise her religion.
“I thought it was the wrong time for us to be wearing the head cover because of the situation we are in right now,” she said.
“If we wear the full veil then we are not wearing our religion, we are wearing our culture.”
I do not think it is appropriate for a woman to be seen with the head covering, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for us as a community to be saying we don’t want to wear it,” she adds.
‘It’s a religious matter’According to Indonesian Islamic law, a head cover is only allowed in public areas where the person wearing it is accompanied by a male guardian.
But according to a group called the Indonesian Islamic Council, the law also covers “a woman wearing a head covering that covers her hair”.”
In Indonesia the head veil is a religious garment that can be worn by any woman, whether she is a woman or not,” said Ahmad Daud, who runs the council’s education and religious affairs section.
He says the council wants to protect the right of women to practise their religion.”
As far as the head scarf is concerned, if a woman has a head scarf and it is covering her hair, she is still allowed to wear that veil in public, but she cannot wear it as a headcover,” Mr Daud says.”
What they have decided is that a woman who wears a head-cover covering can wear it on the streets, in parks and places of worship and that is the same as a woman wearing it on a mosque.
“They have decided that it’s a cultural matter, it cannot be challenged,” he said.
Mr Daud believes the Indonesian government has not listened to the Muslim community.
“When the head-scarf was banned, the Indonesian Muslims were not consulted on this decision,” he says.
According to Ms Sothana, her decision to wear her hijab was a personal choice.
“Before I went to Jakarta I was very religious.
But when I saw the head hijab, I felt it was too big and I wanted to do it myself,” she explains.”
Now I am not religious but I do have a very religious view of myself and I do wear a head hijab because I feel it is the right thing to do.”
Ms Sothna says she has been in touch with the Jakarta-based Islamic Council.
“The council is not saying anything against my religion.
But I think it needs to be more transparent and more open and we need more information,” she concludes.
‘A lot of people don’t understand’What do Indonesian women’s groups say?
The Indonesian Islamic Community Council (IICC) says it has received more than 600 complaints about the hijab from Indonesian women since last year.
A spokesperson for the Jakarta based Islamic Council says it received only two complaints about wearing the hijab in the last two years.
“Many women who wear hijab do so