17 August 2022

By Al Qalam Reporter

Whilst the Karnataka High Court in India today (Friday) resumed hearing petitions filed by Muslim girls against the banning of the hijab, South African constitutional expert, Saber Ahmed Jazbhay told Al Qalam that unless the courts douses the flames and “defangs the Hindu-fundamentalists” stirring trouble, Islamic liberation movements/activists from inside and outside of India may fight back.

Jazbhay said: “India will, like the US – experience a terrible severest extra-judicial retributive judgment executed by homegrown as well as foreign-supplied fighters who have been waiting for the call for help from Muslims who are being treated like inferior citizens in the land of their birth.

“The hijab story broke because it was part of a strategy of demonisation and marginalisation of visible minorities, like Muslims. I warned two weeks ago that India under Modi was very much in the position that Hitler’s Germany was before the Wansee Conference that brokered the Final Solution regarding the Jewish Problem. India has the Muslim Problem.

He said India at this point is “caught in a swirling vortex. It is involved in a border war with China. It is ensnared in Kashmir and its unilateral abrogation of the rights of Kashmiris to self determination and freedom calls into play an international legal document brokered by the UNGA.

“And on its southern flank is its mortal enemy of the partition, Pakistan. Add a Talibanised Afghanistan on its border and you’ll get the image of India caught in a swirling vortex. It is in that geopolitical reality that I can locate the hijab story.

“India is under international pressure to rein in and neutralise the saffron robed extremists who are the enforcers of the Hindu fundamentalist, the RSS, whose membership has captured the government of Narendra Modi,” he added.

Meanwhile, The Indian Express reported yesterday that the advocate for the petitioners had pointed out the clear “discrimination” against Muslim women.

He said although different religious symbols such as bangles and turbans are common in Indian society, the government’s targeting of only Muslim women for their headscarves is an example of “hostile discrimination”, the advocate for petitioners told the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday during the hearing on the hijab row.

He also argued that the discrimination is even starker because there is no prescribed uniform for students in pre-university colleges in the state and as a consequence there is no rule that imposes a ban on the hijab.

Meanwhile, colleges across Karnataka reopened under heavy police cover Wednesday to chaotic scenes outside several institutions with authorities refusing entry to hijab-wearing students prompting several girls to return home without attending classes.

The hearing continues today.

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