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Hijab not for schools, issue raked up by Muslim clergy to regain control over women: UP madrassa board chief

Ifthikar Ahmad said women are entitled to wear hijab at home, Masjids, Mazars, weddings, and markets, but not in the army, as cabin crew, in the police force, as doctors, as lawyers, or even go to school in hijab.

On Tuesday, the chairperson of the UP Board of Madrassa Education, Iftikar Ahmad Javed affirmed that the hijab controversy erupted due to the flawed leadership of the clerics. He added that the Muslim clerics stirred up the hijab controversy in Karnataka to control the women and make them feel secondary to the Muslim patriarchy.

According to the reports, Javed further blamed the Muslim clerics for suppressing Muslim women by creating controversy around triple talaq, polygamy, or hijab. He said that the Muslim community has leadership problems and that the clerics don’t prefer normalcy. “They always want some issues to create controversy”, added Javed as he said that the recent hijab controversy has been used to subdue women.

“There is a very clear concept in hijab. The women are entitled to wear it at home, Masjids, Mazars, weddings, and markets, but cannot claim to don it in the army, as cabin crew, in the police force, as doctors, as lawyers, or even go to school in hijab. This cannot work. Hijab has been used to steer women away from the mainstream”, he was quoted as saying by a Times of India report.

Earlier, on March 25, the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrassa Education had announced that singing of national anthem along with other morning prayers would be mandatory for students in madrassas. “The national anthem is sung in various schools and we want to instil patriotism in madrassa students too so that they know our history and culture”, Iftikar Ahmad Javed said then.

The Hijab Controversy

The hijab controversy in Karnataka gained momentum in the first week of January after eight Muslim girls were denied entry to classes in a Udupi college because they were wearing a veil. The college authorities had informed that the veil was not a part of the uniform dress code mandated for the students.

The Muslim girls, adamant about wearing hijab, then filed a petition in High Court seeking permission to attend classes in hijab. They stated that wearing the hijab was their ‘fundamental right’ granted under Articles 14 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and an ‘integral practice of Islam’.

The controversy spiralled as Hindu students in Karnataka came with saffron scarves around their necks and protested against Muslim girls continuing to wear burqas to college. Tensions also prevailed at some educational institutions in Udupi, Shivamogga, Bagalkote, and other parts, as stones-pelting and violence were reported from various parts of the state.

The High Court however in its verdict dismissed the petition filed by the Muslim girls and said that wearing the hijab is not an essential practice in Islam. As reported earlier, the students had begun to wear hijab to schools and colleges after they had met the Campus Front of India (CFI), the student branch of the Islamist organization Popular Front of India (PFI), in October 2021. The students confessed that they had spoken with the CFI.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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