A resolution by Muslim outfit Popular Front of India on Sunday states that the Hijab ban and related controversies in Karnataka constitute “another aggression on Muslim identity and denial of religious freedom to minorities”.
The resolution, passed by National Executive Council, blamed the government for “forcing uniformity in the name of uniforms” — reads the press note shared on Sunday.
“It also denies one’s personal freedom to wear a dress of his/her choice”.
The group also blamed attempts are being made to introduce new cultural practices to pressurise the judiciary to go against Muslim religious freedom.
“Muslim women across the world deem the headscarf part of their identity for centuries. A cruel and malignant situation has been created that Karnataka Muslim girls are being asked to choose between education and their identity by some educational institutions in the state. When these brave girls assertively stood up for themselves, they were terrorised and heckled by Hindutva boys”.
Popular Front of India and its student wing Campus Front of India are accused of “conspiracy” behind the protests against the hijab ban, according to the Hindu nationalist bloc. Karnataka’s BJP lawmakers announced an investigation into the matter.
The groups are at the forefront of the protest since January when six girls in a government Pre-University college were barred from entering college with headscarves.
A slew of violence broke out in the first week of February that has led to the closure of educational institutions.
“Hundreds of boys and girls going to the streets against their fellow students’ rights of religious freedom and harassing women for demanding their rights are a shame on any civilised society. These mobs motivated purely by hate are tarnishing the image of the nation across the globe”.
The hijab ban is now challenged in Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court following a government order.
“An impression is being created that being Muslim in the country is not okay. They have little regard for the constitutional rights of the citizens or the pluralistic social fabric of the country. This is what fascism looks like”.
“Therefore any decision against Hijab will be akin to alienating and excluding Muslims from education and public life. Popular Front stands with the struggle of the Muslim girls and hopes that Karnataka high court will restore their rights to wear Hijab in schools and colleges without facing any discrimination,” PFI observed.