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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Karnataka HC Order On Hijab Threat To Secular Education For Muslim Girls.

On Wednesday, September 14, the Supreme Court was informed that the Karnataka government order (GO) banning the hijab on campuses will be the end of secular education for students. The counsel for some of the petitioners questioned, “What is the degree of discipline affected by allowing someone to wear the hijab?”

Senior attorney Huzefa Ahmadi argued before a court panel that included Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia that the majority of females who wear the hijab come from conservative families and questioned what the natural repercussions of this will be. He fiercely asserted that encouraging diversity and avoiding uniformity in all actions are justifiable state interests. He questioned, “Why should someone feel that another person’s religious practises block secular education or unity?

According to Ahmadi, the state government’s directive on wearing the hijab in schools misunderstands the idea of brotherhood and has “essentially driven Muslim girl students out of school” by doing so. He continued by saying that the state had no justifiable reason to impose a restriction. Even though it seems impartial, the GO must be invalidated, according to Huzefa, because it violates Article 14 of the Constitution. He noted that several pupils from a neighbourhood had defied expectations and attended class wearing a headscarf.

Huzefa argued that forbidding the headscarf would put obstacles in the way of education and fraternity and stressed that “The GO will strike a death knell for their (students’) secular education.” If it were stated that the hijab would not be permitted, he claimed that would be against the preamble’s brotherhood ideal.

Ahmadi claimed that numerous pupils stopped attending school after the Karnataka High Court’s ruling on the hijab on March 15 by citing a PUCL report on the effects of the hijab ban. The top court did, however, express some uncertainty over the report’s objectivity.

According to Huzefa, if someone is offended by hijabi girls, they should feel a sense of brotherhood and fraternity.

When arguing on behalf of certain petitioners earlier in the day, senior attorney Rajeev Dhavan referenced the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Bijoe Emmanuel case to argue that once it was established that donning a hijab was a legitimate practise, it was acceptable. Dhavan said that the Karnataka High Court’s ruling, which stated that the headscarf was not required because no sanctions were prescribed, was perplexing.

When Dhavan claimed that the courts lacked the necessary expertise to settle the case, the bench questioned him, asking, “If a dispute emerges, then which forum will decide it?” What was the disagreement about? Whether wearing the hijab was a necessary custom? The hijab is worn everywhere in the nation, it was added, thus there was no need to cite the religious scripture as long as the practise was legitimate and widespread.

On September 12, Senior Attorney Yusuf Mucchala, who is representing the petitioners in the hijab ban case, told the Supreme Court that the Karnataka High Court erred in concluding that wearing a headscarf is not a fundamental aspect of Islam. He added that the court “should not have gone into the issue whether the hijab was an essential religious practise by interpreting the Quran” because it lacked the necessary expertise in the case.

On Thursday, September 15, the hearing on the petitions contesting the Karnataka High Court’s March 15 decision upholding the prohibition on the hijab in pre-university campuses would go on.

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