An Indian court has declared that wearing a hijab is not an important component of Islam. The Karnataka high court was hearing the appeals of Muslim students who were barred from visiting the government institution where they were registered in January because they wore the headscarf. This is considered to be a major blow for Muslim students seeking the right to wear the headscarf in universities in Karnataka, South India.
According to the three-judge panel, permitting Muslim women to wear the hijab in classrooms would impede their autonomy and go against the constitutional ethos of positive secularism. The 129-page judgment uses verses from the Quran and Islamic writings to argue that wearing the headscarf is not a religious requirement. There is enough fundamental material in the book itself to support the view that wearing the hijab is only recommended, if at all.
Furthermore, the order states that what is not religiously deemed necessary cannot be made a fundamental part of the faith through public activism or heated arguments in court. Additionally, the hijab, according to college administrators, violated guidelines that require students to wear a uniform. A handful of students brought the matter to court after the principals refused to back down.
Twitter is flooded with the tweets of influential personalities who are condemning the ruling of the Indian court and labeled this ruling a violation of human rights. Indian American Muslim Council strongly denounces the Karnataka High Court’s disregard for the Indian constitution by banning Hijab in schools & campuses. Senator Sherry Rehman also condemned the ruling of the Indian Court.
Moreover, the state administration, which is led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which also runs the country, has prohibited big gatherings this week, fearing violence over the verdict. The Muslim students who brought the case to court have not yet responded. They are likely to file an appeal with the Supreme Court. The verdict is expected to end India’s boiling debate, which has raged for weeks. Some worry that if the headscarf is outlawed, Muslim girls may be forced to stay at home and not pursue an education.