Muslim students in India not allowed to wear hijab

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BENGALURU: Three Muslim students in India were kicked out of the classroom after they went to college wearing headscarves.

“When we arrived at the door of the classroom, the teacher said we cannot enter with the hijab,” one of the students told Al Jazeera. “She asked us to remove it.” A government-run women’s college in Udupi district of India’s Karnataka state in the south has forced a group of six Muslim students to sit outside the classroom because the college administration alleges they are defying the rules since hijab is not part of the uniform.

The girls told Al Jazeera the hijab is “part of their faith” and wearing it is “their right guaranteed under the law”. The college administration has done their best to pressurise them but the girls have maintained a defiant stance.

Since December 31, the hijabi girls are being marked absent from their classes even after attending college daily. “We are not going to budge, no way,” Aliya Assadi, who is a part of the group, told the Middle Eastern media outlet. A photo has gone viral on social media of the students clad in hijab and college dresses while sitting on the steps outside their classroom.

“It is because of this photo that our issue got highlighted in the media,” said Assadi. Their protest has raged up the college administration which, according to the group, forced them to write a letter accepting they missed the classes by staying home on their own. “We tried to refuse but the principal and the teachers threatened us that they would ruin our careers,” Muskan Zainab, another student, told Al Jazeera.

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