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Tudung or Not Tudung

The <a href="http://www.tribolum.com/?/archives/2002_01_01_archive.html#9113621">issue</a> of the Muslim girls who faced suspension from school should they continue to wear headscarves have come to a conclusion we as Singaporeans have become familiar with : The government does not budge.
In this Straits Times <a href="http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/primenews/story/0,1870,100705,00.html?" target = "_blank">article</a>, the Prime Minister has made it abundantly clear that they would not be moved. Their decision to suspend these children from attending school will stay. Rules are rules. Doesn't there come a time when we question their necessity? Doesn't there come a time when a parent looks at his or her child and realises that caning is no longer appropriate for discipline? Rather than resort to the reason "because the rules say so", I think many of us would have been more satisfied if he could have shown us that these rules are still very necessary in this stage of development. That line of argument would undoubtedly have taken more time and effort, but I believe that we, especially the Muslim community that is part of us, deserve at least that.
The Prime Minister was right about one thing however : There are two ways to move forward. The two ways he gave were this :
<blockquote>
1. Take the kid out of the school and enroll her in a religious school.
2. Take the government to court.
</blockquote>
Those two "ways" hardly equate to moving forward. The crux of the matter is :
<blockquote>
1. We can expect everyone to conform to a national identity.
2. We can accept everyone and from there form a national identity.
</blockquote>
I'd like to believe we are mature enough to do the latter. It's a tricky issue, no doubt. But it's an issue we've to face sooner or later.
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