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‘Courts Can’t Dictate Citizens to Wear Against their Conscience and Faith’

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New Delhi: Reacting to the Karnataka High Court’s order on the Hijab ban, prominent Muslim organizations said that it is not the courts’ job to decide about essential religious practices of any religion.

In a statement, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said that “we disagreed with the judgment of the High Court. He hoped that the Supreme Court would bring the required essential correction into this ruling and would not allow a wrong precedent to be set. We are highly concerned about the mischievous reporting in certain sections of the media, giving a wrong impression that the court has put some ban on Hijab. The court order has nothing to do with the issue of wearing or not wearing a Hijab in social and private life. It is limited to the validity of the Government Order giving power to the Management of the public-funded schools to prescribe dress codes. Trying to create any rift or mistrust in the citizens by misinterpreting court judgments is not good.”

Husaini said, “We are highly concerned that this order may exclude Muslim women from education. It goes against the government’s stated policy of including all communities and social groups in the path of progress and development. Education is a crucial national priority, and its cause demands a conducive atmosphere where everyone could pursue their education without being forced to compromise on his faith or conscience.”

President of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Maulana Mahmood Asa’d Madani said t this verdict would have many negative implications, especially on the education of Muslim girl’s students as they would lose their right to choice and their confidence in the present communal atmosphere.

He noted that our country has a very ancient tradition and civilization, especially Indian Muslim women who have a deep attachment to their belief about modesty and veil that can never be erased merely by judicial intervention.

Maulana Madani emphasized that the decision regarding any particular religion should be based on the accepted interpretation of the beliefs by the authoritative scholars and jurists of that religion, and the courts should not take a diverted path in this regard.

Maulana Madani urged the state governments and the central government to fulfill their responsibility of protecting the established culture and tradition of a particular community. If the court does not resolve the issue, then in a democratic country Parliament and Assemblies have absolute right to enact a law. Therefore we urge the governments to take action that can serve more extensive national interests.