Karnataka High Court on Hijab Issue

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The marginalization of muslins in India further deepens as the ruling of the High Court of Indian State of Karnataka banned the wearing of ‘hijab’ by Muslim girls in educational institutions. The decision manifestly has failed to uphold the principle of freedom to religious practices and impinges on human rights. It is quite dismaying that the judiciary in India which is expected to act as a bulwark against dehumanization, stigmatization, and discrimination against minorities has completely failed to uphold the principles of justice and equality. Indeed such a decision marks a fresh low in the relentless anti-Muslim campaign where even the pretext of secularism is being weaponized to target Muslims. Furthermore, It is feared that the flawed ruling by the High Court would fast-track the pace of marginalization of the minorities, especially Muslims, and further embolden the Hindu-RSS zealots to target them with impunity. Above all, it is deeply concerning that the malicious trend of characterizing Muslims as ‘others’ or ‘20%’ by prominent BJP leaders which was continuing with appalling impunity is now also being translated into decisions by the judiciary. The discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the grossly injudicious Indian Supreme Court judgment in the Babri Mosque case are not distant memories. India, under its current dispensation, is oblivious to the fact that its so-called ‘secular’ credentials are fast waning much to the detriment of its minorities. Pakistan on the other hand strongly urged the Indian government to ensure safety, security, and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims, and their right to practice religion. We also call upon the international community, the United Nations, and relevant international organizations to play their role in prevailing upon India to arrest the tide of majoritarianism and discrimination in India and to ensure the protection of all minorities, especially Muslims.

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