Words by Asia Jamil
In the Southwestern region of India, the protests over the issue of Hijab are storming the internet since the footage of a young Hijabi girl went viral on social media. One burqa-clad young girl against the 100s of protestors has become a ‘’symbol of resistance’’ in India’s Karnataka state. The religious tensions are rising in India over the right of girls to wear religious clothing to school.
The girl named Muskan Khan was accosted by a high number of Hindu men chanting their religious slogans and wearing their saffron scarves, the color of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is Indian leading party. The lone girl who is hailed on social media by titles as ‘’Lioness’’ and ‘’the symbol of strength’’ who stood to those protestors and chanted the slogan from her faith ‘’Allah o Akbar’’ — according to video posted to social media.
The crowd demanded Muskan Khan to take off her Hijab and chased her, yet the girl not only stood firm confronting the mob, but in response chanted her religious slogan to show her resistance against them.
The religious divide has been seen widening in Karnataka since January when a group of girls started protesting outside their public educational institute after they were denied to enter their classrooms in hijabs and Abayas.
The Muslim girls petitioned the state court to lift the ban, followed by riots from right-wing Hindu students.
Netizens from across the world are expressing concerns for Muslim girls’ choice to wear Hijab being challenged by the riots from the Hindu fundamentalists as a denial of religious freedom for Muslims in the state of India.
“Refusing to let girls go to school in their Hijab’s is horrifying. Objectification of women persists- for wearing less or more. Indian leaders must stop the marginalization of Muslim women.” tweeted Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in criticism of the ‘’horrifying’’ situation in India.
Celebrities across the boarders like Swara Bhasker and Faisal Qureshi among others are also showing their solidarity with Muskan Khan by sharing messages on social media with Hashtags Allah o Akbar.
The Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor reacts on Hijab row on her Instagram by asking ”If Turban be a choice, why can’t Hijab be a choice?”
The Hijab controversy continues in different parts of India which has taken over Politicians, Actors, Analysts , Scholars and general Public across boarders.