Hijab not essential in Islam like turban is in Sikhism – Kerala Governor Arif Khan

Vishwa Bhaarath
Hijab not essential in Islam like turban is in Sikhism – Kerala Governor Arif Khan
Kerala Governor Arif Khan
Against the backdrop of a raging controversy over the ban on hijab in some educational institutions in Karnataka, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said the hijab is not intrinsic to the practice of Islam.

He stated that the argument that Sikhs are allowed to wear turbans while Muslim women are being banned from wearing hijabs in some colleges and schools is “preposterous”.

In Sikhism, the turban is considered and accepted as essential to the religion. On the other hand, hijab in the context of women’s dress finds no mention in the Quran,” he said in an exclusive interview with India Today.

Further, he alleged that “vested interests” were instigating young Muslim women to protest for their right to wear hijab. Arif Mohammad Khan said that these “vested interests” want to “push Muslim women back into the dark ages”. “Don’t be instigated by outsiders, focus on your studies,” he advised the students.

The Karnataka hijab row erupted after a group of young Muslim students were not permitted to enter their college in Udupi on account of wearing hijabs. The issue spread across the state as more colleges and schools issued similar diktats. Opposing groups of students began protesting both for and against the right to wear hijabs in educational institutes. Those opposing the Muslim girls donned saffron scarves.

The controversy snowballed further with national political parties attacking each other over the issue. The protests have now spread to different parts of the nation and the matter is in the high court at present.

On the issue, Governor Khan said, “The basic question in my mind is whether this dress code was in force when they applied for admission. If not, I can understand why they are raising the issue.”

‘Muslim women will suffer

According to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, it is Muslim women who will be “the losers” if the argument of those protesting for the right to wear hijab is accepted.

“They [protesting Muslim women] are being used by those who will do anything to divide society and embarrass the government. These people are following the legacy of the Muslim League. How long will be engaged in these useless non-issues?” said the governor.

Responding to Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai’s vocal critique of the ban on hijab in educational institutes in Karnataka, he said, “She may be misinformed. She doesn’t realize that if this argument is accepted, Muslim women will suffer most.”

He went on to say that Islam harbours the mentality “to keep women suppressed”.

Courtesy: HJS

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