Al-Qaeda won't understand uniform's importance: Assam CM on hijab video
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said that al-Qaeda will never understand the significance of wearing uniforms in educational institutions, but Indian Muslims will. Sharma was reacting to a video recently released by al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri praising Muskan Khan—a Muslim student in Karnataka who stood against alleged right-wing Hindu hecklers in February—that has reignited the hijab row in the state.
Why does this story matter?
Last year, some female Muslim students at a government college in Udupi were barred from attending classes for wearing hijab. The incident triggered protests and disputes across the state, prompting the Karnataka government to ban the hijab and other religious apparel in educational institutions. Moreover, the Karnataka High Court had recently upheld the ban, ruling that the hijab is not essential to Islam.
What did Sarma say on al-Qaeda's video?
Reacting to al-Qaeda's video, the Assam CM supported the Karnataka government's hijab ban and said if religious clothes aren't barred from educational institutions, they will become a "platform for the display of religious behavior." "How can...schools and colleges continue (permitting hijab)? That is why the term uniform came so that there's no difference between Hindus and Muslims...poor and rich," ANI quoted Sarma as saying.
'I am sure Indian Muslims are with judiciary': Sarma
Sarma went on to say that al-Qaeda will never understand the importance, but he is confident that Indian Muslims will understand why everyone must wear uniforms. "Once you finish your school and college, you come back to your home and whatever you want to wear, you wear. I am sure that Indian Muslims are with the judiciary," he said.
Al-Qaeda chief Zawahiri praises Khan
On Tuesday, the al-Qaeda chief released an 8:43-minute video in which he applauded Khan, who was seen opposing a group of boys chanting "Jai Shri Ram" in a video in February that went viral. "May Allah reward her for exposing the reality of Hindu India and the deception of its pagan democracy," said Al Zawahiri, one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.
Zawahiri alleges 'oppression' of Muslims
"We must shake off the delusions that confound us... We must stop being deceived by the mirage of the pagan Hindu democracy of India, which, to begin with, was never more than a tool to oppress Muslims," Al Zawahiri further said in the video.
Video proves 'unseen hands' behind hijab row: Karnakata Home Minister
Meanwhile, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Wednesday said the al-Qaeda's video proves there were "unseen hands" behind the hijab agitation in the state. However, Khan's father distanced himself from the al-Qaeda chief's statement. Saying his family is living peacefully in India, he said Al Zawahiri's comments are wrong. "We don't know anything about it (video), we don't know who he is," he said.Share this timeline