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Malala Tweets On Ka’taka Hijab Row, Says ‘Refusing To Let Girls Go To School In Hijab Is Horrifying’

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has reacted to the controversy over Muslim students alleging that they were not allowed to enter campuses and classrooms wearing the hijab in Karnataka. She said it is horrifying to not let girls go to school in their hijabs.

Updated: February 9, 2022 9:53 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Analiza Pathak

Malala Yousafzai Reacts To Karnataka Hijab Row
Malala Yousafzai

New Delhi: As the hijab row in Karnataka continue to intensify in several parts of the state, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai took to Twitter on Tuesday, to criticise the “horrifying” situation. Taking to the social media platform, She reacted on the ongoing controversy where Muslim girls wearing headscarves are being barred from attending classes and school premises. Malala, who had taken bullets from the Taliban in Pakistan in 2012 for speaking up about the rights of girls and their education, urged Indian leaders to stop marginalisation of Muslim women.

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Quoting a report where a Muslim student said that they were being forced to choose between studies and the hijab, Malala wrote, “Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is horrifying. Objectification of women persists — for wearing less or more. Indian leaders must stop the marginalisation of Muslim women.”

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Malala Yousafzai reacts to Karnataka hijab row

Malala Yousafzai reacts to Karnataka hijab row

The political reactions

The post has however provoked a sharp response from BJP MLA and party national general secretary CT Ravi while some praised Malala for speaking about Muslim girls being prevented from attending classes.

BJP leader, Manjider Singh Sirsa, accused Yousafzai of tweeting without verifying facts. He questioned why she “never spoke on other significant issues like forced conversion of minor Hindu Sikh girls in Pakistan”.

BJP leader Priti Gandhi said that the Nobel Peace Prize winner had been shot in the head at point-blank range because she “stood up to oppressive [Islamic] practices”. “Instead of advising your Muslim sisters to let go of regressive beliefs and spread their wings to fly, you want to push them into darkness,” she asked.

For the unversed, The hijab protests began last month at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi when six students alleged that they had been barred from classes for insisting on wearing the headscarf. Since then, the protests have spread to various parts of the state and beyond. At the same time, some Hindu students and groups have responded to the agitation with counter-protests, garbed in saffron shawls and the like. More recently, the protests have taken a violent turn.

On Tuesday, incidents of stone-pelting were reported, and the police used force and tear gas to control the situation. After which Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai declared a three-day holiday for all educational institutions. Section 144 has been imposed in Davangere, Shimoga and Bagalkot after protesters resorted to stone pelting.

The Karnataka High Court meanwhile is looking into pleas by some Muslim girl students on their right to wear a headscarf and will resume hearing on today.

The bench headed by Justice Krishna S Dixit noted that all emotions will be kept aside and the court will go by what the Constitution says. The bench heard the arguments of the petitioners as well the Karnataka government and said, “This Court requests the student community and the public at large to maintain peace and tranquillity. This court has full faith in the wisdom and virtue of public at large and it hopes that the same would be put to practice.”

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Published Date: February 9, 2022 8:47 AM IST

Updated Date: February 9, 2022 9:53 AM IST