PRESS RELEASE Date: 24-1-2022
Issue of Hijab at Girls Government Pre University College Udupi:
Muslim girls have been instructed by the authorities in the said college at Udupi not to wear Hijab while attending classes on 31st December 2021. This has resulted in resentment and a standoff between the Muslim girls and the management. The girls continue to be excluded from the classes till date.
The right to choice of dress, practice of one’s religious belief is a fundamental and constitutionally guaranteed right which cannot be denied to any individual. Hijab is an age old form of modest dress practiced by Muslims and also by various other groups in different names. It has never been an obstacle to identity and progress. To deny the same to the girl students at Udupi and as a result deny them dignity and right to education is highly deplorable. It should be noted that in 2016 Kerala High Court had upheld this right in a landmark case.
Hence we request the authorities concerned, the Government and the Minister of Education to see this case not as a matter of indiscipline but as a fundamental right and a respect to the diversity of our society. The girls should be allowed to wear Hijab if they so desire and to immediately resume their attendance of the classes. The issue should not be politicized and the matter should not lead to polarization and hatred between the communities. The efforts of Muslim Okkuta and other elders across communities should result in an amicable resolutions of the issue.
The Central Government has issued instructions on the 73rd Republic day celebrations that special programmes to perform Surya Namaskar with musical instrument should be held across the country. The plan is to achieve a target of 75 crore Surya Namaskar across 30 states, 30000 institutes by involving 3 lakh students. We wish to state that Surya Namaskar is a devotional Yoga practice involving prostration to the sun and chanting of hymns. Islam strongly prohibits any act of worship or devotion to any of the creation and strictly recommends that this is permissible only to the Creator of the entire Universe-Allah. Muslims are not allowed to prostrate even to the beloved personality of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We have been asked not to perform Namaz (which includes prostration) at the exact time of dawn or dusk to avoid any doubt of resemblance to sun worship.Hence it will be an infringement on the fundamental and constitutional right of Muslim children to expect or ask them to participate in this respect. The Government should not enforce religious practices of one community on others since it is a violation of the secular principles and against the spirit of equality, justice and liberty. We also strongly advice Muslim parents and children not to partake in this idolatrous practice. This should also be an occasion to make children understand the concept of oneness of God and its demands. We urge the Managements of schools and institutions to respect this diversity and freedom of choice.
Communal incidents at Nargund and other places:
The recent violent incidents at Nargund which resulted in the death of a Muslim youth and serious injuries to another are highly condemnable. The situation had been building up over the past few weeks and should have been controlled much earlier. There have been stray incidents happening over the last couple of months in the form of attacks on Christian places of worship, moral policing and vigilantism, raising baseless disputes and allegations about mosques, etc. We urge the police and administration not to allow the fringe elements to politicize and disturb the communal harmony in our state and deal with such elements with a firm hand. The controversial anti-conversion bill also has vitiated the atmosphere and needs to be reviewed and not proceeded with further.