TARGETED HARRASMENT IN INDIA MUST STOP
We are deeply concern with the recent targeted harassment on Muslim girls in India.
The response by Muslim girls who protested in front of the Junior Pre-University college in the Karnataka state after they were denied entry for wearing hijab , is a right that cannot be denied.
We object strongly the sudden ruling by the college authorities who discriminated the Muslim girls wearing the hijab.
We condemn and are outrage after hijab-wearing student were heckled by Hindu mob in India. Even Muslim girls wearing hijab were barred from classes at an Indian college.
The college officials posted a notice outside the gate declaring prohibition of hijab in classrooms as part of the college uniform code.
It is unacceptable for the education department
officials who were reported addressing the students : “Give up on your hijab. If you hold on to this, you will lose out on your education’.
Discriminatory measures where Muslim girls with sitted separately and self-study just for wearing a headscarf , is outrageous.
Treating them like criminals and keeping them in a separate classroom are objectionable.
The decision of the Kundapur college to segregate Muslim girls was reported and this is a reflection of how institutional measures are use to suppress Islamic identities.
We support the student’s protest as the action is tantamount to a form of “religious apartheid” and “untouchability”.
We stand in solidarity with Muslim students protesting the unwarranted measure. This cannot be accepted as a policy which is victimizing Muslim women .
The move violates the rights of Muslim students to practice their religion and access to education.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Karnataka must halt the intimidation and terrorizing of Muslim students wearing hijab.
The three-day closure of educational institutes across the state and appealed for calm can only be meaningful if the government stop the violance targetting Muslims.
The government exercising rasism and discrimination will create communal disharmony throughout the state in the name of banning hijab.
Discriminating them in the institution is a denial of education to Muslim girls.
We demand that the right of freedom of religion and complying religous attire must be guaranteed.
The practice of hijab is protected under the right of freedom of religion guaranteed in the Indian constitution and that the state has no power to ban it.
Wearing hijab is an essential part of a Muslim woman’s life. We question after years of wearing hijab is a non issue , why is the banning introduced now?.
Why is this ruling sudddenly taken up by the BJP and Hindutva groups to rake up communal tensions.
The controversy created over hijab is intentional. When a group of six Muslim students at a government-run women’s college in Udupi district was denied entry into their classrooms because the administration alleged they were defying the rules by wearing the hijab , this prompted widespread protest.
The girls defiant resistance against the pressure even as they were made to sit separately in a classroom for wearing Hijab at a college in Basrur district is a natural reaction to defend their rights.
We condemn the BJP defending the hijab ban.
The rights of India’s minorities under the Hindu nationalist government is now under assault.
We see attacks against Muslims and their religious symbols have increased under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The hijab ban came as the religious minorities, mainly Muslims and Christians, faced attacks from the right-wing Hindu groups in the state.
The state’s Hindu-nationalist BJP
government laws against cow slaughter and anti-conversion is targeting minorities.
The governing BJP defended the hijab ban, arguing that it violates rules on uniform , is unacceptable. They cannot argue wearing hijab as against uniform ruling as the hijab has no effects on students harmonious relationships apart from it is a religious attire amongst Muslim women for centuries.
Maintaining identity is an essential part of education as do achieving excellent performance in schools and colleges are equally important.
We call for India to stop its measures of eroding religous rights of minorities.
The targeted harassment by the authorities must be halted immediately.
Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid
Convener Institute for the Advancement of Justice and Peace , Malaysia ( IAJPM )