New Delhi: Amid protests against a ban on the wearing of hijab inside government educational institutions in Karnataka, the Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (ISMD), a group of civil society members, has condemned the “communal polarisation of students campuses”.
“The issue of whether Muslim girls should or should not be permitted to wear hijabs in institutions where a uniform dress code is in place is something that should be sorted between the agitating Muslim girls and the managements of the concerned colleges,” a statement issued by the body recently said.
‘Uniforms should be religion neutral’
ISMD also said that it accepts the principle of uniforms in educational institutions as long as they are “religion-neutral” and “non-discriminatory”.
While stating that it respects women’s right to choose how they dress, the body added “this choice cannot be counter-posed to the right of school managements to prescribe a religion-neutral, non-discriminatory uniform in their campuses”.
IMSD also said it “disagrees” with the claim of the agitating Muslim girls that their demand to wear hijab is in conformity with their “Constitution-protected fundamental right to freedom of religion”.
“While this may be the belief of the orthodox and patriarchal clerics, any number of modern-day Islamic scholars, men and women, rightly maintain that hijab has nothing to do with the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet. The veil, in other words, is not mandatory in Islam,” it noted.