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Hijab ban in Indian schools upheld in court

In a decision widely criticized as “deeply disappointing”, a court upheld a ban on hijabs being worn in schools in India.

Last month’s ban by the state Karnataka led to protests from parents and students of Islam as well as counter-protests from students of Hinduism.

India’s large Muslim community saw the issue as an attempt to marginalize the Hindu-dominated community. Some fear that the verdict will lead to similar bans elsewhere.

Many female Muslim students may consider dropping out of college because of Tuesday’s judgment.

Image Ayesha Imthiaz from Udipi said that the ban was humiliating

Chief Justice Ritu Raj Ashthi of the High Court of Karnataka stated that Muslim women’s wearing of hijab “doesn’t form an essential religious practice in Islamic religion”.

In the judgment, he stated that the government was able to issue uniform guidelines and dismissed various petitions challenging state ban.

Awasthi stated, “We consider that the prescribing of school uniforms is only a reasonable restriction constitutionally permissible and which the students can not object to.”

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Ayesha Imthiaz is a third-year student at Udupi’s Karnataka district. She said that she would either leave her government-aided college, or choose a correspondence program.

She stated that her fellow Muslim female student were also planning to do it.

She said, “We can’t remove the hijab. We won’t take it off.”

“We have fifth semester exams next week. If things don’t change, we will need to sit those exams.”

She described previously how humiliating it was to be asked to remove the hijab prior to class.

Students Islamic Organisation of India (which represents thousands of Muslim students in India) said that they feared Tuesday’s verdict would encourage other states to ban hijab class.

Musab Qazi, the national secretary of Musab Qazi, stated that “We don’t want it set a national precedent” and asked for it to be overturned. “The court verdict could encourage more states to ban it.

“So, in all probability, we will approach Supreme Court.”


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