The Karnataka High Court upheld the ban on the wearing of the hijab (headscarf) by students in schools and colleges in the State. It held that wearing the hijab is not an essential religious practice in Islam and is not, therefore, protected under the right to freedom of religion guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution.
The court said it was a reasonable restriction that was constitutionally permissible. The Bench also upheld the legality of the Karnataka government’s February 5, 2022, order prescribing guidelines for uniforms in schools and pre-university colleges under the provisions of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, after a row over hijab in Udupi and other districts.
The Bench also spoke about the possibility of some “unseen hands” behind the hijab row to engineer social unrest and disharmony and expressed dismay over the issue being blown out of proportion. The court said that school uniforms will cease to be a uniform if hijab is also allowed.
What is a hijab? Why it is Important?
Hijab is one of the most recognizable symbols of Islam. However, in some countries, it is banned from schools and public institutions. The main reason for that is the desire to separate religion from the educational process. This topic has been a matter of debate for a long time already. Some people believe that hijab should be banned from schools and other public places because it violates the rights of women and men who do not practice Islam. Others think that hijab is a personal choice of every woman, so she can wear it wherever she wants.
The word “hijab” comes from the Arabic word “hajiba” which means “to cover”. There are different types of hijab, such as burqa and niqab, but they all have one thing in common: they cover a woman’s entire body except for her face and hands. Hijab is worn for many reasons, including modesty and protection from sunburn and cold weather. It can also be used as an expression of faith or to show solidarity with other Muslims.
Here are five reasons why girls and women wear hijab:
- It’s a religious obligation.
- Hijab is a symbol of modesty.
- Hijab protects the wearer from harassment or unwanted attention.
- It’s part of a person’s cultural identity or tradition.
- It protects the wearer from harmful sun rays and pollution
Why Wearing of hijab in schools is Banned?
Because of the fact that wearing of hijab is considered as part of religious belief and practice, some countries and certain schools have banned it because of the reason that religion should be separated from the state. It has been claimed that there are increasing cases of religious tensions in public schools due to the presence of diverse religions.
There are also school officials who claim that wearing of hijab might be something dangerous since it can be used as concealment for weapons or even bombs. However, some people argue that this reason is not valid since any clothing can actually be used as such.
- Teenagers’ rights
There are also other schools that claim that teenagers have the right to wear their preferred clothing even if parents do not approve of it. They claim that teenagers should be given the freedom to wear what they want so long as they do not violate the law and do not cause harm to others. Some students have been penalized for wearing hijab despite being allowed by their parents.
- Respect for all cultures
Some schools have banned the wearing of hijab because they claim that it should respect all cultures and traditions around, especially those which are different from Islam and Muslims. In this regard, some Muslim parents find this reason illogical since students belong to other cultures.