Karnataka Extends Hijab Ban To Minority Institutions, Muslim Women Forced To Remove Hijabs In Public - IAMC

Karnataka Extends Hijab Ban To Minority Institutions, Muslim Women Forced To Remove Hijabs In Public

Karnataka state’s discriminatory anti-Muslim ban on religious dress has been extended to minority institutions operated by the state government, including schools run under the Minority Welfare Department. The government stated that this announcement had been made after discovering that Muslim girls were still attending minority institutions while wearing the hijab, revealing that minorities will be stripped of their constitutional rights within their own schools. 

The targeted anti-Muslim discrimination has led to women and girls across Karnataka being turned away from school entrances for wearing hijab. Disturbing videos have also surfaced of hijabi students being kicked out of schools where the ban does not apply, state police blocking students at school gates, and teachers forcing their students to remove their burqas and laughing while the girls disrobe. 

The unconstitutional ban has served as a means for an increasingly anti-Muslim Hindu majority to commit regular offenses and humiliate Muslim girls and their families under the guise of upholding secularism. Other states have also picked up the hijab ban, including Madhya Pradesh, where one college has barred all Muslim students from wearing hijab on campus. Similar incidents were reported in Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh. 

Bahrain Parliament Slams Hijab Ban, BJP For Anti-Muslim Discrimination 

23 Members of Bahrain Parliament slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its repeated human rights abuses against India’s Muslim minority, including by allowing the government of Karnataka state to ban the hijab in schools. 

Al-Asalah Islamic Society, a Bahraini political party, called upon the world’s Arab and Muslim countries to come to the defense of Indian Muslims by putting pressure on the Modi government, pointing out the hypocrisy of allowing Hindus to freely practice their faith while brutally suppressing Muslims. The party also cited the fears of major human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Genocide Watch, and Human Rights Watch, which have pointed to the threat of impending mass violence and potentially even genocide against Muslims. 

Kuwaitis Protest At Indian Embassy Against Karnataka Hijab Ban 

Around 120 Kuwaiti women swarmed the Indian embassy in Kuwait in a protest against Karnataka’s discriminatory hijab ban. A similar protest was also held by women at Irada Square in Kuwait City this week. The women carried placards with slogans including “Hijab is a basic human right for Muslim women” and “Allahu Akbar,” accompanied by a cartoon image of Muskan Khan, a hijabi Muslim girl who rose to international fame after holding her ground before a group of Hindu extremist men who were harassing her. 

International pressure to revoke the hijab ban in India has been increasing. The Modi government has been slammed by representatives of the United States as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a group of 57 Muslim countries that recently condemned the rise of anti-Muslim attacks in India, calling on the United Nations and the international community to take immediate action against the ongoing anti-Muslim discrimination in India, which has the potential to lead to genocide. 

Uttar Pradesh Police Killed 23 Muslims, Illegally Arrested 3,000 Anti-CAA Protesters, Says Report

A report released by the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), an India-based civil rights group, found that police in Uttar Pradesh state had killed 23 Muslims and illegally arrested over 3,000 more under fabricated charges during the Citizenship Amendment Act protests in 2019. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a discriminatory bill that fast-tracks citizenship for religious minorities, excluding Muslims. Muslims who protested the bill were often met with violence and harassment from both police and Hindu extremist mobs. 

The report found that many of the illegally arrested individuals have languished in jail under false charges for two years now, adding, “350 First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered regarding anti-CAA protests… which gives a free license to the state police to implicate any person in these cases and subject them to unnecessary harassment without any fault.”

The APCR also slammed the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government for failing to offer any form of compensation to the families of the 23 Muslims who were killed by police. 

“The State has completely shirked away responsibility for these deaths. All these deaths were caused by bullet injuries. Post mortems were carried out under questionable circumstances. FIR’s were not registered. Proper burials were not allowed… no arrests have been made till now,” the report said.