Owaisi says Karnataka court’s order on hijab violates freedom of religion

New Delhi, March 15 (KMS): The President of President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said that the Karnataka High Court’s decision to uphold the ban on Hijab is a violation of the fundamental rights to freedom of religion, culture and expression.

In a series of tweets, Asaduddin Owaisi said, this judgment violates fundamental rights like freedom of religion, culture, expression and Article 15. He said the verdict will have a negative impact on Muslim women and they will be targeted. He maintained that modernity is not about eschewing religious practices. “What is the problem if one wears the hijab?” he asked.

The AIMIM chief stated that Hijab is an essential practice. “For a devout person everything is essential and for a non-believer, nothing is essential,” he added.

“The Preamble mentions ‘liberty of thought, expression, belief, and worship’. It is my right to decide the essentiality for my religion. For a devout Muslim, Hijab is an act of worship. If a Muslim woman says that Hijab is essential for faith then not even a Muslim can raise questions on that,” Owaisi said.

He maintained this court decision is discrimination on the basis of religion. “It does not serve the purpose to hide religion, caste, or race in schools behind the uniform. The uniforms do not ensure uniformity,” he said.

The AIMIM president said, the court or government do not decide essentiality. “It is my right, if it does not harm anyone, the state shall not be allowed to interfere in religious affairs. Hijab does not harm anyone. We will appeal in the Supreme Court,” he said.

Karnataka High Court today observed that the Holy Quran does not mandate the wearing of the hijab, stating that it is a cultural practice and used as apparel as a measure of social security. The court dismissed a batch of petitions filed by some girls seeking permission to wear the hijab in educational institutions. A bench of Karnataka High Court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit, and Justice JM Khazi heard the petitions challenging the ban on hijab.