Owasi disagrees with Karnataka HC verdict on ‘Hijab’

Hyderabad, March 15 : All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday disagreed with the Karnataka High Court’s Judgement on ‘Hijab’ after the Court ruled that it is not an essential religious practice of Islam, by dismissing a bunch of petitions seeking direction to certain colleges to allow Muslim girl students to wear hijab in classrooms. Reacting to the HC verdict, Owaisi tweeted ”I disagree with Karnataka High Court’s judgement on #hijab. It’s my right to disagree with the judgement & I hope that petitioners appeal before SC. He said I also hope that not only @AIMPLB_Official but also organisations of other religious groups appeal this judgement as it has suspended fundamental rights to freedom of religion, culture, freedom of speech and expression. Preamble to the Constitution says that one has LIBERTY of thought, EXPRESSION, belief faith, and WORSHIP…..If it is MY belief & faith that covering my head is essential then I have a right to EXPRESS it as I deem fit. For a devout Muslim, Hijab is also an act of worship. The Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP said It’s time to review the essential religious practice test. For a devout person, everything is essential & for an atheist nothing is essential. For a devout Hindu Brahmin, janeu is essential but for a non-Brahmin it may not be. It is absurd that judges can decide essentiality. Not even other people of the same religion have the right to decide essentiality. It is between the individual & God. State should be allowed to interfere in religious rights only if such acts of worship harm others. Headscarf does not harm anyone. Banning headscarf definitely harms devout Muslim women and their families as it prevents them from accessing education. The excuse being used is that form will ensure formity. How? Will kids not know who’s from a rich/poor family? Do caste names not denote background? What does form do to prevent teachers from discriminating? Globally, the experience has been that reasonable accommodations are made in school, police & army forms to reflect diversity. When Ireland’s govt changed the rules for police form to allow hijab and Sikh turban, Modi govt welcomed it. So why double standards at home & abroad? Hijab and turbans of the form’s colours can allowed to be worn. What is the consequence of all of this? First, govt created a problem where none existed. Children were wearing hijab, bangles, etc & going to school. Second, violence was instigated and counter-protests were held with saffron turbans. Are saffron turbans “essential”? Or only a “reaction” to hijab? Third, GO & HC order suspended fundamental rights. We saw media, police & admin harass hijab wearing students & even teachers. Kids have been even banned from writing exams. It’s a mass violation of civil rights. Lastly, this means that one religion has been targeted & its religious practice has been banned. Article 15 prohibits discrimination based on religion. Is this not a violation of the same? In short HC order has forced kids to choose between education & Allah’s commands. For Muslims it’s Allah’s command to be educated while also following his strictures (salah, hijab, roza, etc). Now govt is forcing girls to choose. So far judiciary has declared masjids, keeping a beard & now hijab as non-essential. What is left of free expression of beliefs? I hope this judgement will not be used to legitimise harassment of hijab wearing women. One can only hope and eventually be disappointed when this starts happening to hijab wearing women in banks, hospitals, public transport etc One can give a more detailed response whence the full judgement is made available. For now, this thread is based on the oral order dictated in court,” the AIMIM President said. CS1337

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