Images of girls in hijabs forced to sit outside college gate in India fuel outrage – Kashmir Media Service



New Delhi, Jan 18 (KMS): A hijab ban at a government college in Udupi in the Indian state of Karnataka sparked outrage after images of a group of female students in hijabs sitting on the college doorsteps have emerged on the internet. Students were forced to sit outside the classroom after the college principal refused entry.

Activists called the college’s decision Islamophobic and demanded the policy be reversed and students be allowed to wear the hijab and practice their faith freely. They praised the girls for standing up to what they called the college’s Islamophobic policies.

Afreen Fatima, who is associated with the Fellowship Movement, appreciated the “tremendous courage” shown by students who experience “harassment and humiliation every day” while standing up and fighting injustice of the college administration. “Absolute solidarity, love and Duas to these brave girls. May Allah keep them under his protection far from all evil and bring them peace,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

Activists also deplored the silence of civil society and feminist groups on the issue.

“Many more people would have supported these girls if they had tried to take off their hijab. They would have fiercely supported their freedom of choice. The mainstream media would have hosted prime time shows about Islam. only because they want to wear hijab that we see this radio silence from them,” Zoya Rasul said.

The students continue to defy the college administration’s coercive tactics that allegedly forced the girls to write an apology letter on Friday.

The girls said they are fighting for their rights and nothing can stop them.

The issue has been raging for three weeks now that the college administration has refused to allow girls to attend classes in hijab. Muslim student organizations, Campus Front of India and Girls Islamic Organization have held a meeting with the college and district administration to resolve the impasse, but nothing has come of it yet.

When social media users called on the Minorities Department of the Karnataka Government to intervene, it ignored its responsibility towards Muslim girls saying, “Our department is responsible for the implementation of government projects. We cannot meddle in the problems of the Department of Education.

In the meantime, the college said it would follow Ministry of Education guidelines on the matter.

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