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‘Hijab row BJP bid to humiliate women’ — IS threatens violence to protect ‘honour of our sisters’

In its propaganda magazine 'Voice of Hind', Islamic State says BJP using hijab issue to 'disempower young Muslim women & segregate students on lines of religion'.

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New Delhi: The Islamic State (IS) terror group has commented on the Karnataka hijab controversy in its propaganda magazine Voice of Hind, alleging that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) planned the “discriminatory ban on hijab to undress and humiliate Muslim women publicly”. 

The party, it alleged, was using the hijab issue to “disempower young Muslim women and segregate students on lines of religion”.

“Every Hindu coward putting an eye on the honour of our sisters will be slaughtered into pieces mercilessly,” said the magazine’s March issue, which was released on the IS’ encrypted online platforms.

On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court held that wearing of hijab by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practice in Islamic faith.

The verdict came on a bunch of petitions from students questioning the ban on hijab imposed by Udupi’s Government Pre-University College, and a subsequent government order seen as backing the restriction.

Also Read: Hijab row not about choice, liberals supporting ‘dangerous trend’, RSS-backed Organiser says

‘Propaganda to turn one community into common enemy’

The magazine said the Karnataka hijab controversy was part of a global conspiracy to “demonise Muslims”, and claimed that India was following countries like France, the Netherlands and Switzerland in forcing Muslims to “assimilate with the rest of the population”.  

“The fact that world politics has focused its guns on the Muslim communities in their respective countries is the clear indication of the collective propaganda to turn one community into the common enemy so the real issues are left unquestioned,” the magazine claimed.

The arguments in Voice of Hind resemble those made by some groups in India that have been critical of efforts to prevent the hijab in schools and colleges.

For example, an open letter by 2,000 intellectuals, including lawyers, journalists, academicians, and women’s rights activists which was released in February had sought action against “Hindu supremacist” groups who were “boycotting Muslims on various pretexts”. 

The letter had also argued that the hijab was the latest pretext to impose “apartheid” against Muslim women. 

The Voice of Hind magazine also claimed that Muslims in India who had “adopted westernisation” had caused their own downfall. 

“With advent of modernity and the rise of the West as its flagbearers, the hijab changed its form and was modernised to suit contemporary fashions,” it said, adding: “The dilution also led to a degradation of its image in the eyes of believers who, drunk in the fervour of western ways, started to reject it and consider it conservative.”

The criticism appeared to be directed at some Muslim women’s organisations that have decried the practice of hijab as a patriarchal imposition, not central to the practice of Islam.

The Voice of Hind magazine argued that Muslims needed to understand that only a “Caliphate” would guarantee and protect the rights of women. “A disciplined and collective struggle must be waged for the establishment of Islamic rule,” it said.

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)

Also Read: How he escaped, died — IS magazine details story of Kerala student Najeeb, missing since 2017


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