The Indian American Muslim Council urges the Karnataka court to lift this discriminatory ban and recognise that it is the right of every Indian to practice their faith without being subjected to harassment, segregation, and bigotry.
WASHINGTON, DC – Indian American Muslims protested in Houston city of Texas against the Karnataka High Court’s ban on students wearing hijab in schools. More than a hundred people, with women in the forefront, called on the Karnataka government to immediately stop discrimination against Muslim girl students who are being forced to remove hijab.
The court’s interim order was passed after several colleges in Karnataka state barred Muslim students from entering classrooms while wearing hijab, leading to nationwide protests and international criticism.
Protesters in Houston held placards saying “Hijab is our constitutional right,” “Stop India’s hijab ban,” “Stop Islamophobia in India”, “Attack on hijab is a ploy to deny education to Muslim girls,” and “Hijab ban in India is apartheid.”
“I am an Indian-American woman living in Houston. I have been watching what’s happening in your state from afar, and I am shocked and disheartened,” said a protester who spoke at the event. “I want you to understand that hijab is one of the most integral parts of my religion, my faith.”
“It is not just a piece of clothing for those of us who choose to wear it. It is our very identity… We wear it just as naturally as a Sikh person wears his pagdi, a Christian wears his holy cross, a married Hindu woman wears her mangalsutra, sindoor or bichhiya. I request you to not politicise it.”
“I urge you to let educational institutes be a center of learning, not a political battleground to divide communities. Please allow my Indian sisters to practice their faith as is allowed to them by the Constitution of India.”
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) condemns the Karnataka High Court’s disregard for the Indian constitution which reflects from its recent order, which punishes Muslim women for wearing the hijab despite the fact that their right to religious expression is codified in Article 25. IAMC urges the court to lift this discriminatory ban and recognise that it is the right of every Indian to practice their faith without being subjected to harassment, segregation, and bigotry.