Kindergarten In Indonesia Dresses Children In ISIS-Style Outfits For Parade

From Straitstime via AFP:
PROBOLINGGO (AFP) – An Indonesian kindergarten apologised on Monday (Aug 20) after images of its pint-sized students marching in niqab veils and carrying cardboard cutouts of assault rifles sparked outrage.

Organisers were left red-faced after a torrent of criticism suggested the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-style outfits promoted violence in a country that has long struggled with militant attacks.

The group of about 15 students were taking part in a parade for Indonesia’s independence day last Friday near the country’s second-biggest city Surabaya.

The Kartika kindergarten, which is located inside a military complex in Probolinggo town, said the costumes were resurrected from storage to save parents the cost of buying new ones.

It denied that the gun replicas and full-body veils promoted extremism.

“I never meant to teach violence to my students,” said school principal Suhartatik, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

“We only used the props that we already had to cut costs for parents. I deeply apologise.”

The costumes had been used in previous parades to teach students about the Prophet Muhammad’s faith and beliefs, she added.

But the principal’s explanation was met with derision on Indonesian social media.

“Nobody carried assault rifles in the prophet’s time – is this teacher that clueless about history or was she just trying to dodge the blame?” one user posted on Twitter.

Another tweeted: “Obviously the seeds of ISIS are being nurtured early on.”…

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