Hijab is not an essential practice and women in Constitutionally Islamic counties protesting against it, Karnataka government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court while defending the judgment passed by the Karnataka High Court banning religious attires inside educational institutions.
“There are countries which are Constitutionally Islamic in nature, even there, women are protesting against Hijab,” said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Karnataka government.
The court then questioned which country is he referring to. Mehta Responded, “Iran. So it is not an essential religious practice. A mere mention in Quran will not make it essential, it may be a permissible or ideal practice.”
The Solicitor General also cited international judgment from European courts to support his arguments. He also stated that the Government Order (GO) passed by the state government was for the institutions and was “religion neutral”.
“The order does not direct the students; it directs the institutions. The goverment never said that the girls shall not wear this… The government’s order is completely gender neutral. It is not that one community will be refrained from wearing one particular apparel… All students must wear the uniform prescribed,” he added.
He also highlighted the role of the Popular Front of India (PFI) behind the Hijab agitations in Karnataka.
Mehta said, “Since 2004 no one was wearing Hijab and suddenly in December 2021 it started. In 2022, a movement was started by Popular Front of India (PFI) on social media to start wearing Hijab. It’s not a spontaneous act of some students, the students were a part of a larger conspiracy, the students were acting on instructions.”
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