Hijab ban in India severely affecting Muslim girls education

Hijab ban in India severely affecting Muslim girls education


Hiba Sheikh, pursuing graduation in India’s southern province of Karnataka could not appear in the practical sessions of her annual exams last month, as the college authorities refused to allow students to wear hijab or headscarf.

"My internal exams were on March 3 … The college authorities are saying to remove the hijab and then come to college. But I am not okay with it," she told *Anadolu Agency*.

She said that taking cover of the Karnataka High court order pronounced on March 15 that upheld the ban on wearing hijab in classrooms, college authorities have been preventing Muslim girls to enter the premises with headscarves.

The move is affecting the education of Muslim girls across the state, which is known as India’s science capital, because of hosting numerous institutions related to information technology, electronics, and space.

India’s national news agency Press Trust of India has reported that 40 Muslim girl students from the Udupi district of Karnataka alone have stayed away from appearing for the pre-university exams.

"I am worried about my education. Exams are going on and I don't know what to do. It is worrying every student because it is happening at the end of the academic year. Not sitting in exams means loss of one year,” said Sheikh.

The court had ruled that "wearing of hijab by Muslim women doesn't form a part of essential religious practice in the Islamic faith.” The verdict had come following petitions filed by Muslim women who were being disallowed to attend classes because of their hijab.

The issue surfaced when hijab-clad Muslim students were barred from entering their classrooms at a government college in Udupi district in Karnataka in January. Subsequently, the issue spread to other institutions in Karnataka.

Sheikh is not alone. Several hijab-wearing students wearing told *Anadolu Agency* that college authorities were not allowing them to sit in exams.

Muskan stays away from exam

Speaking to *Anadolu Agency*, Ramzaan Khan, father of Muskaan Khan who has become a symbol of resistance to protect the right to wear hijab, said that her daughter did not appear in the annual exams. Anadolu Agency