Karnataka Court Upholds Hijab Ban, Says Hijab Is Not Essential Part Of Islam
Caving to the storm of anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination overtaking all facets of Indian society, the Karnataka High Court ruled to uphold the unconstitutional ban on hijabs in schools, setting a dangerous precedent for the treatment of Muslim women throughout India. The court’s flimsy reasoning for upholding the ban was based on the interpretation that hijab is not an essential practice in Islam, contrary to the beliefs of many Muslims.
“[The verdict] judicially sanctions apartheid,” said Afreen Fatima, a student activist with Fraternity Movement. “It is going to… further push Muslim women out of educational spaces. Its implications are going to be felt across all states. It will embolden the Hindu extremists to demean Muslim women in public spaces.”
“We are shocked by the court declaring that hijab is not an essential Islamic practice. This is not for them to decide. The hijab has a clear mandate in Quran,” said Syed Sarfraz, the Karnataka state secretary of the Campus Front of India.
In response to a question regarding whether religion was more important than education, one student fired back at reporters, “You keep asking us this question. I would like to ask the government a question instead. Is the uniform more important to them than our education? They are the ones forcing us to stay home.”
Politicians have also expressed their outrage.
“What does the government have to do with who wears what? Why the hijab controversy? Why are you charging up the atmosphere?” said Telangana state Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.
Meanwhile, Hindu extremist politicians have lashed out with hatred, with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai warning that “stern action” would be taken against those who “disturb peace.” Education Minister B. C. Nagesh spoke condescendingly about Muslim students, saying, “We will try to win the hearts of those girls who were ‘misguided’. We will try to bring them into the mainstream of education.”
Students have already declared that their fight is not over, and that they will be taking their case to the Indian Supreme Court.
Hindu Extremist Students Wear Saffron Scarves To Protest Against Classmates Wearing Hijab
Discrimination against hijabi students has spread throughout India, with Hindu extremist students going out of their way to harass their Muslim classmates in an Uttar Pradesh college. The extremist students showed up to classes wearing saffron scarves, claiming that they were protesting against students who wear the burqa (full-body veil) to school.
Mohit Kumar, a Hindu supremacist student, explained, “When I came to the institute wearing a saffron scarf, teachers raised objections and asked me to remove it. But I told them to first stop students from wearing burqas on campus. They assured me that every student will follow the dress code.”
His hateful agenda is reflective of how widespread Hindu extremism has become among young Hindu Indians. The school also reinforced this extremism; rather than reprimand the students for wearing hate symbols and harassing minorities, faculty promised to uphold the school dress code.
Kashmiri Journalist Booked Under Draconian Law Hours Before Bail Hearing
Kashmiri journalist Fahad Shah, who has suffered a series of three unwarranted arrests within the span of a month, was booked yet again under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) just hours before his bail hearing in another baseless case against him.
“Authorities had sensed that [he] will get bail on Tuesday, so they booked him under the PSA to prolong his detention,” said Umair Ronga, Shah’s attorney. “We will knock on the doors of the High Court as well as the Supreme Court to get justice.”
Indian authorities have faced international backlash for targeting Shah, including from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the United Nations, and other prestigious organizations. Shah has been charged across multiple cases with glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news, and inciting the general public for his reporting on the ongoing abuses against Kashmiri civilians by the Indian military.
Modi Speaks Out In Support Of Hateful Propaganda Film, Calls Hatred “Freedom Of Expression”
Prime Minister Nardenra Modi, who is known for his silence on human rights abuses, has spoken out in support of the Kashmir Files, an anti-Muslim propaganda film based on the tragic exodus of Hindu pandits from Kashmir in the 1990s. The film has been heavily pushed by politicians and was granted tax-free status by several state governments, including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Karnataka.
“People who always raise the flag of freedom of expression are restless. Instead of reviewing the facts, campaigns are being run to discredit it,” he said, referencing Muslims and other Indian minorities.
Far from being a simple act of freedom of expression, the film’s release has inflamed violent sentiments against India’s already-vulnerable Muslim minority. Multiple videos have surfaced on social media showing theater audiences across India chanting the Hindu religious slogan “Jai Shri Ram,” hurling abuses at non-BJP politicians, calling for the boycott of Muslim Bollywood stars, and chanting “shoot the traitors to the nation,” a common slogan used by the BJP and their supporters to encourage violence against Muslims.