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Bangladesh: Medical college makes hijab compulsory for non-Muslim women

This even after Bangladesh Supreme Court order from 4th October 2010 that no one can be forced to wear religious clothes against their will.

Ad-din Sakina Medical College in Bangladesh has now made the hijab (headscarves worn by Muslim women) compulsory even for non-Muslims. This even after Bangladesh Supreme Court order from 4th October 2010 said that no one can be forced to wear religious clothes against their will.

Hindu organisation Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mahajote said that another founder of Ad-din Sakina Medical College, Sheikh Afil Uddin, was also involved in torturing religious minorities. Newstrack had earlier reported that the college’s administrative officer Subrata Basak had claimed that the rule had been in force since 2011 (when the college was founded). He declined to answer when asked about how the diktat of the medical college was against the decision of a Bangladeshi court on wearing religious attire in schools.

On Friday (February 25), the Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mahajote raised strong objections against the decision of a medical college to make hijab mandatory even for non-Muslim students, reported Sangbad Pratidin.

In a press conference, the Hindu rights organisation emphasised that non-Muslim students must not be forced into wearing Islamic attire at any educational institute in the country. Citing media reports, it pointed out that the Ad-din Sakina Medical College (ASMC) in Jessore district of Bangladesh has introduced such a rule in the college.

The spokesperson for Bangladesh National Hindu Grand Alliance, Palash Kanti Dey, said that the decision of the college is in contravention to the 2010 verdict of a Bangladeshi court. It was held by the court that people cannot be forced to wear veils, skull caps and other religious clothing against their will in schools/colleges and workplaces.

The Hindu organisation said that by making hijab compulsory for all, the medical college had violated the order of the court. It informed that the college has been soliciting ‘written consent’ from students at the time of admission. Bangladesh National Hindu Grand Alliance said that those students who refuse to give consent for wearing hijab are barred from taking admission.

Sangbad Pratidin reported that the hijab has been made compulsory for all students (including non-Muslims) at all educational institutes, operated by Akij Group Ltd. The Hindu outfit has demanded the immediate intervention of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina regarding the matter.

Bangladesh National Hindu Grand Alliance had claimed that Dr Sheikh Akij Uddin, the father of ASMC’s founder Dr Sheikh Mohiuddin, was against the Independence of the country in 1971. It added that Akij Uddin was a member of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing, Chhatra Shibir, while he was a student of Barisal Medical College. His family was accused of looting the properties of Hindu refugees.

Hindu rights organisation condemn threats to Bangladeshi Hindus over Karnataka hijab row

On February 18, Islamists had threatened Hindus living in Bangladesh with dire consequences if Muslim students were not allowed entry into Indian classrooms with Hijab. They gathered in large numbers in Dhaka to protest against the ‘Hijab ban’ in Indian schools, reported Ruptly. 

In a video shared by a Bangladeshi Twitter user, a large group of Muslims were seen marching on the streets with placards while raising anti-India slogans. “The conspiracy about stopping education of Muslim girls in India should be stopped,” read one placard.

The mob, associated with the radical Islamist party Islami Andolan Bangladesh, also raised slogans of ‘Allahu Akbar’ while they rallied in support of the hijab on the streets of Dhaka. While threatening Hindus living in Bangladesh, an Islamist warned that life would become miserable for Hindu women in the country.

“Not a single Bangladeshi Hindu woman come outside homes and walk on the street with a religious symbol like Shaka, Sindoor…,” he threatened. The Islamist received overwhelming support from the Muslim mob standing in his vicinity. The Bangladesh National Hindu Grand Alliance had strongly condemned the anti-Hindu rhetorics during the press conference on February 25.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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