Muslim girls in India have been protesting for their right to education after they were banned from classrooms for wearing the hijab.
A government-run college in the southwestern state of Karnataka closed the gates on their female, Muslim students, because they were all wearing the hijab or niqab. Video footage of the girls crying and pleading with staff to let them in just months before their final exams sparked a heated debate online.
“So sad. I have worn kumkuma and vibhuti to school. I was never stopped. How can anyone stop these girls wearing hijab or whatever they want. This is not the India or Karnataka we shd leave our kids. This is a violation of their rights and authorities shd be severely punished,” wrote one user.
While most were supporting the rights of religious freedom, others came at the issue from a different angle.
“I’m not taking sides here, but dress codes are a part of every Institution, & must be adhered to. Even now in posh clubs, people can’t walk in with shorts or slippers. Government offices have dress codes too. The kids can wear hijab to the college & remove it in their classroom,” said one user.
However, he was quickly shut down in the replies: “Oh come on!! It’s systematic targeting and it’s obvious. The girls are being denied education for wearing a hijab. In a ‘secular’ country where girls for years have worn a hijab over their school uniform.”
Just a few days after the incident at the school gate, classmates turned up to the school wearing saffron scarves around their necks to signify that they supported the school’s approach in what has been slammed as a vile display of nationalism.
The news comes just weeks after the Indian Supreme Court was forced to intervene after growing tensions between religious groups around the country. Millions of Muslims have been at threat after prominent Hindu leaders called for a “genocide” to try and eradicate the growing population.
“If 100 of us are ready to kill two million of them, then we will win and make India a Hindu nation,” said Pooja Shakun Pandey, a leader of Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu nationalist movement. “Be ready to kill and go to jail.”
Since then, hate crimes against Muslims have spiked, with video footage and photographs being shared on social media showing them being attacked and beaten in the streets. Gangs of Hindu nationalists have been purposefully seeking out Muslim victims in order to intimidate them into submission and with the government remaining primarily silent on the issue, it’s been an extremely growing concern over the past few months.
Gregory Stanton, Founder of Genocide Watch, has warned that a “genocide could very well happen in India,” also adding that there are “early signs” of it occurring right now.
This disgusting behaviour must be condemned and rectified, or India is heading down a dark path.
May Allah make it easier for Muslims in and around the country.