By: Zahid Jadwat
The matter of the hijab ban in schools in the southern Indian state of Karnataka has been taken to the Supreme Court of India, in an effort to overturn the Karnataka High Court’s decision to uphold the ban.
“A review petition has been filed in the Supreme Court; the High Court’s order has been challenged. Many more such petitions will be filed in the days to come. We hope that this decision will be overturned in the Supreme Court,” said Musab Qazi from the Students Islamic Organisation of India in an interview on Radio Islam.
This follows the judgement by the High Court of Karnataka in which Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi said that the court does not believe the hijab is an essential practice for Muslim girls.
“We are of the considered opinion that wearing of hijab by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practice in the Islamic faith,” he said.
Last month, a ban on wearing hijab in Karnataka schools sparked clashes between Muslim and Hindu students. The students argued in court that the hijab was an essential practice for Muslim girls and that such a practice is a guaranteed right under the Constitution.
Qazi said the fight for the protection of Muslim rights in India must transcend the judicial system. He said this is because there is an ongoing project to spread Islamophobia amongst Indian Hindus.
“This fight must be fought not just in court, but in other areas as well – in the social arena [and] in the political arena – because the project is a social project where they have tried to pollute the minds of ordinary Hindus,” he said.
“This fight has to be fought on a social level where we want to remove Islamophobia that has spread across the country since Narendra Modi’s government came into power.”
Qazi added that India’s Muslim community needs to establish political structures in order to combat the anti-Muslim sentiment on a political level as well.
Listen to the full interview: