Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Principal made us choose between hijab and exam: Muslim students in Karnataka

As schools till Standard X reopened across Karnataka on Monday, thirteen Muslim girls of KPC school were denied exams and sent back home in Shimoga. The girls had come to attend the pre-board examination of Secondary School Leaving Certificate.

This action from the KPS School come after the Karnataka High Court passed an interim order, banning religious attire in educational institutions across the state. Reports coming in from many places stated that Muslim students were refused entry to school premises if they did not remove their hijab.

“I’ve been wearing Hijab from the day I got admitted in this school and it’s been 2 years. No one asked me to take off my hijab, but today when me and my classmates went to the school, our principal stopped us midway as there were many media channels infront of the school gate. The principal took us to a separate room and locked us inside just because we were wearing hijab,” Mubasshira Ali, student of KPS School told Maktoob.

“We are 24 muslim students in the class and 30 in entire batch. Principal made us to choose between exam and hijab. We denied to take off our Hijab, she asked us to leave the college. It was very rude. Parents of some of the Muslim girls supported us and tried convincing the principal but she was nowhere to be convinced. Neither teachers nor the students supported us. It was very humiliating to us. We left the school, because we can’t choose between hijab and education. Both are very much important to us.” Mubasshira Ali added.

Mubasshira’s father Mohammed Jafar Sadik also spoke to Maktoob.

“Hijab is part of our religion and we surely will not compromise with it. Taking off the hijab is as equal to coming out of our modesty. I won’t send my daughter to that school again, if they ask to remove hijab, I will readmit her in Arabic school instead,” he said.

“I want my daughter to be as brave as that girl named Muskan Khan from Mandya, who raised Allahu Akbar slogan in answer to the humiliation by the saffron shawl gang. No matter what problems we going to face, I will not let my daughter take off her hijab,” he said.

At a public school in Kodagu’s Nelli Hudikeri, around 30 students went back home after the management refused to allow them entry with hjab.

The Karnataka High Court’s interim order had declared a ban on ‘religious clothing’ including the hijab until a judgment is reached in the case.

Schools in Karnataka reopened on Monday after a five-day break declared by the state government due to the ensuing hijab ban controversy. Videos of school authorities coercing Hijab-clad students to unveil themselves before entering the gates of the school has emerged on social media.

Raghupathi Bhat, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA of Udupi issued a statement saying, “In colleges where uniform is not followed and hijab was earlier allowed, students will be allowed to wear hijab. In colleges where it was not earlier allowed, status quo will continue.”

“This would mean Udupi PU College for Girls, where six students have been protesting for hijab will not allow hijab. But in a college like MGM college where students were reportedly allowed to wear hijab will continue to allow the same,” he added.

The High Court on Monday continued the hearing of the Hijab-ban case, after a batch of petitions were filed by Muslims girls barred from classes for wearing hijabs in alleged violation of uniform discipline.

“As far as Muslim girls are concerned, they are permitted to wear scarves matching with the bottom wear with red hem on corners by the Kendriya Vidyalayas,” senior advocate Devadatt Kamath arguing for the students told HC.

“Headscarves for Muslim girls and headgear allowance for Sikhs. This is in line with Article 25 of the Constitution,” he added.

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