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India hijab ban being challenged in Supreme Court

Munawar Zaman
Press TV, New Delhi

Mubeena a young Islamic scholar says this is incredible, now Muslim girls and women are being intimidated in India just because of what they want to wear.

She says India is a country of diversity and that makes it unique, but she is worried saying things are going in the wrong direction and this could threaten the very plural nature of the world’s largest democracy.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has now filed a petition challenging the verdict of the southern Karnataka court decision upholding the ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions, stating that it “deprives the constitutional rights of Muslim girls to practice Hijab along with the school uniform” and “curtails religious freedom and constitutional rights of Muslim girls and women.

In recent months, the hijab controversy gained momentum across the country sparking debate if the secular fabric is being compromised. The issue galvanized the public sentiment, with people of all faiths questioning religious freedom and equality in the world’s most diversified country.

Ban on Islamic headscarves has outraged the Muslim community, saying it is an outright attack on their faith which the constitution guarantees them. Some girls now fear they would have to choose either education or hijab.

Observers say this is yet another way of marginalizing the Muslim community, which accounts for about 14 percent of the overall population. They say efforts are underway to erase Muslims from public spaces and impose apartheid.

Earlier it would be the Muslim Azan, what they eat, their marriages and personal laws, now it is about how they dress.

Critics accuse the ruling party of Prime Minister Modi of further marginalizing the Muslim community. The country’s largest minority population also shares the opinion, saying it is a larger political agenda of transforming India into a theocratic supremacist Hindu state. They say the Ruling party BJP might rewrite the constitution to suit their agendas.

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