Hijab Row: Kuwaitis Protest Outside Indian Embassy


The women’s wing of the Islamic Constitutional Movement held a demonstration near the Indian Embassy in support of Muslim women in India. — Photo courtesy: Kuwait Times

Tharoor warns India fast losing old friends saying, “I hear from friends across the Gulf of their dismay at rising Islamophobia in India, ‘We like India. But don’t make it so hard for us to be your friends’.”

Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Apparently fed up of the daily dose of horror from the Indian state of Karnataka where Muslim girls are being made to go through an ordeal of untold humiliation and persecution for wearing hijab, an innocuous piece of cloth, to cover their head, a group of powerful Kuwaiti parliamentarians said enough is enough! “We can’t sit back and watch Muslim girls being publicly persecuted,” they said adding “Time for the Ummah to unite…”

They demanded that the government of Kuwait should put an immediate ban on the entry of any member of the ruling BJP of India into Kuwait even as the women’s wing of Islamic Constitutional Movement demonstrated outside the Indian Embassy on Friday in a show of solidarity with the Muslim women in India. Around 120 in number, majority of the demonstrators were Muslim women who disapproved of the persecution of Muslim women in India and slammed the silence of the international community.

The demonstration near the Indian embassy in Kuwait was held against the backdrop of students wearing hijab in the Indian state of Karnataka. The Muslim girls were barred from entering schools and colleges and now being forced to remove hijab outside before entering the educational institutions.

Carrying placards against what is happening in the southern state of India, the protesters expressed their rejection of moves to force Muslim students to remove their headscarves in schools while denouncing the silence of the international community against such inhuman practices against the hapless women.

These developments seem to have prompted senior Congress leader, Shashi Tharoor, to share his predicament with his fans on social media. He tweeted, “Domestic actions have international repercussions. I hear from friends across the Gulf of their dismay at rising Islamophobia in India and the PM’s unwillingness to condemn it, let alone act decisively against it. “We like India. But don’t make it so hard for us to be your friends.”

“What is happening against Muslim women in India is a clear injustice. It is not the right of a person to force someone else to give up their religious beliefs,” said Dana Sharaf, who attended the protest demonstration at the Indian embassy.

Invoking the long-standing Indo-Kuwaiti relations, Mohammed Al-Ansari pointed out that in Kuwait they respect the Indians who constitute the largest community residing in their country, and do not force them to practice our Islamic rituals and beliefs. They are free to believe in and practice their rituals, so we call on the Indian government to reciprocate and respect Muslims and their rituals.

Expressing his his strong disapproval of what is happening against Muslim women in India, he called on the Indian government to respect all religions.

Speaking on the occasion, a lawyer and political activist, Israa Al-Maatouk, said, “Religious terrorism is unacceptable, and the Indian government must take into account its nationals in Muslim countries, especially in the Gulf states, because they are one of the largest communities and have complete freedom in their religious beliefs and rituals.”

She said it was unacceptable to prevent Muslim women from getting an education if they do not take off the hijab.

“Our message is to convey our voice to the Indian government and to protest against what is happening to Muslim women there. The Kuwaiti Embassy in India must convey our voice and message to the Indian government,” she asserted.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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