16 May, 2022

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‘Hijab’ Ban – Another Arrow From Modi’s Racist Quiver!

By Mohamed Harees –

Lukman Harees

The chain of events being witnessed in Karnataka, is the latest controversy to bring the issue of the women clothing back into the conversation in India, whose so-called secularism has for years imposed restrictions on where and when Muslim women can wear head and face coverings. The tensions have frayed further in recent days in Udupi and elsewhere in majority Hindu Karnataka as students with saffron shawls – typically worn by RSS Hindu far-right wing groups – prevented hijab clad Muslim female students entering colleges and even thronged into classrooms to show their support of their schools’ hijab ban. The issue has now gone to the higher courts for adjudication, like it has gone few times before, both in India and even in Europe. Not surprising that a wee piece of fabric is also being made into a political tool in hate filled Modi’s India and also be the subject of another ruling in the highest court?

Fiercely criticised, demonised and misunderstood, the hijab has become one of the most hotly debated topics in secular countries, including India and in Europe. Simultaneously seen by some as a symbol of female oppression and by others as a symbol of religious freedom to wear what one wants; one thing is for sure: worldwide more women are choosing to wear the simple scarf that covers the hair than ever before.

In Karnataka, battle lines were drawn and tensions escalated near a college in Udupi, when the Muslim female students barred by the authorities from entering their classrooms wearing hijab, began camping outside. The scene of a hijab clad Muslim female student Muskan Khan confronting the far-right wing protesters (mostly outsiders) wearing saffron scarves as she arrived at her college went viral and reflected the present stand-off between the protagonists and antagonists of the Hijab issue. The controversy over ‘hijab’ in Karnataka has been finding resonance in street protests and social media outrage across the country. The young Muslim women students in Karnataka have demonstrated great courage under extreme provocation from Hindutva mobs.I n Sri Lanka too, a Muslim teacher wearing Abhaya was harassed and ‘kicked out’ of her school Sri Shanmuga Hindu Ladies’ College’, Trincomalee ,despite a court ruling to allow her in, leading to suspicion of the RSS outreach beyond the shores of India.

What was worrying in both Karnataka(and in Trincomalee) was that the racist hate is being promoted by vested interests among the young generation, which do not augur well for the well-being of the Indian subcontinent.A popular Hindi song written by Shailendra snug by Mohammed Rafi, translated, read:‘O small child! so petit. What do you in your palm’s grasp keep? If Shailendra wrote this today, perhaps he would add the next lines in response to this as ‘a broken destiny in my palm’s grasp I hold nothing but hatred’. Today, we are in an age where we should be celebrating knowledge, but instead we are becoming a witness to toxicity in society. Haven’t we come a long way (in a negative sense) with even the young generation being made part of power games to sow communal hatred?

What is this Hijab controversy in India? How much is it legal and how much political? Media channels are making a feast of this contentious issue. Videos showing students pleading to let them join school are all over the social media. Till recently, they were welcome and now suddenly no entry! School administration says the students violated school uniform code; the students however disagree and maintain it is within the code guidelines. Political opportunists have been trying to scratch open healing cracks. Earlier it was Namaz in the open, then the meat ban and now hijab ban is making news headlines. Senior advocate Dushyant Dave said the controversy over hijab in Karnataka was a “political issue being deliberately raised during elections”.

The legal angle is being ignored to accommodate petty political gains of the State’s BJP government. The petitioners who filed actions have claimed violation of their fundamental right to profess their religion, and the right to freedom and dignity. The students can’t be asked to choose between their right to education and right to Hijab because both are the rights guaranteed under the constitution, and they are entitled to them. The lawyers for petitioners argued before the court that the Constitution gives everyone the fundamental right to practice their religion, and barring students from attending classes due to their dress violates these fundamental rights. Article 25(1) of the Indian Constitution guarantees right to profess, practice and propagate religion. It is the duty of the State to ensure this basic right, subject to restrictions such as public order, morality and health. In this context, question should be asked : does Hijab harm decency, morality , health or public order or does it promote them?

The Indian Courts have examined what can be done in the name of religion? In the Shirur Mutt case in 1954, the Supreme Court held that the term ‘religion’ will cover all rituals and practices, integral to a religion. The test to determine what is integral is termed ‘ Essential Religious Practices ‘Test. Thus, all essential practices and rituals need to be protected. ? In the 2004 case of Anand Marga, Supreme Court held that the Anand Marga sect was not allowed Tandava dance in public street, because it was particular to the sect and not essential to the religion itself and therefore do not constitute an essential religious practice. There was a more controversial judgment in 2016 when the Supreme Court upheld a Muslim airman being discharged by IAF for keeping a beard; thus keeping a beard was held to be not an essential religious practice as no evidence was brought to prove otherwise.

However, Hijab is considered an essential part of Islamic code of dress and conduct which can be seen across many fields.- teaching, airlines, pilot or Police among many others. In India, the issue of religious clothing or symbols is not new. While the Karnataka government has raised the argument that “religious symbols and clothing” cannot be allowed, other state high courts have permitted students to do so in various cases. In 2016, a case came up before Kerala High Courts challenging the prescription of dress code for All India pre medical entrance. The courts however directed the authorities to put additional measures in place for checking students who intend to wear a dress according to religious custom, but contrary to the dress code. The Delhi High Court also passed similar orders in 2018, where a division bench directed the CBSE to allow a Sikh candidate wearing kara and kirpan to enter the NEET exam hall, even though the dress code banned any metal items. The bench had in its order noted that the candidates, who were wearing such religious symbols, could be called in one hour early for frisking to ensure that there is no misuse of the objects. In 2002, the Bombay High Court also took up a case involving ban on hijab as part of a school dress code. The court, in the Fathima Hussain Syed case in 2002, noted that wearing of hijab was a part of essential practice of Islam as cited in various verses of the Quran. However, the court dismissed the case itself, as the girl was attending an all-girls school.

A similar argument relating to “uniformity” were before the European Court of Human Rights in the cases involving ban on veils in France and Belgium. In both cases, in 2014 in the France veil ban issue and in 2017 Belgium case, the ECHR upheld the ban on the veils that cover the full face and head.

However, these bans were upheld on the grounds of gender equality concerns (France), and “preservation of the condition of living together” which allows persons to see and identify each other. However, neither of these doctrines are valid when it comes to a Hijab. The hijab is a scarf that covers only a person’s head and hair, unlike a full-face veil or ‘Niqab’, which was the subject of controversy in the European cases. Under the presidency of Emmanuel Macron, France had the audacity to ban Muslim women and girls under the age of 18 from wearing the hijab in public. What was the response from the liberal progressive world? Shameful silence. Liberals’ hypocrisy was very blatant with double standards. One the one hand, they argue that women should have the freedom to chose what they want to wear while on the other hand, they are mum when it comes to Muslim clothing.

From an Islamic perspective, attempts to understand hijab within the framework of liberalism alone may also be misleading. Muslim women wear hijab in accordance with the Quranic and Prophetic injunction, and this religious right has been protected in the country’s constitution. Hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty and privacy. This concept is however not unique to Islam, but embraced by other religions, such as Judaism (where the concept of modesty is called Tzuniut) and Christianity. The Islamic concept of hijab is most often expressed in women’s clothing. Expression of hijab varies within the Muslim world and beyond. These verses of the Quran offer insight into hijab and relevant ideas about modesty, respect, privacy, and humility: Chapter 24, verses 30 and 31; Chapter 33, verses 32 and 33; and Chapter 33, verses 53 and 54 and so are some clear Prophetic traditions.

What has therefore made these chain of events so confusing or suspicious and why are these students being used.? Let us look at the political exploitation of students in respect of these Hijab protests. The girls themselves did not understand why they were suddenly not allowed to enter their schools and colleges. Some media reports claimed the colleges were pressurized to do so. The fact was that if hijab was a problem, questions will also be raised other symbols too such as mangal sutra, Bindi, turbans, cross etc. In fact, the strength of a nation is in the unity in diversity. The issue is that politically the people can be identified by their dress which was what was happening to the students for their clothing. If this was a major problem, then it would have talked about internationally. However, hijab is a commonplace internationally stressing on tolerance and diversity, bar some countries.

Recalling old times when our friends were known by their first names was refreshing and their caste, creed , culture or clothing did not matter. It is difficult to understand why identities must complicate coexistence. As an activist pointed out, “Like in a fruit salad, we could be in a common dish but still retain our distinct colour and flavour. But when you try to blend us all into a juice, then the one fruit you add more will dominate the taste. That will be at the cost of others.” Today, it is a matter of shame that there is much segregation even in schools and colleges between students, thus giving tough competition to the British who practiced ‘divide and rule’ policy. What can this division even accomplish for these students? At least majority people in India too, like in Sri Lanka, thankfully realize that these are issues created by vested political interests to divert people’s attention from more acute issues such as unemployment, inflation and trade deficit etc and desist from questioning their rulers. Today, hijab has become the centre of attention. What all this means in the end is that nothing fruitful will come out this controversy and to think otherwise will be to give up our critical thinking faculty.

Hijab ban is a consistent attempt by the RSS led Indian majoritarian forces to marginalise the Muslims in the country. Political analysts warn that “such issues could deepen religious fault lines in India. They express concern at what they call the “active politics of religious divide being played by the BJP. The social harmony and peace of the giant in the Indian subcontinent is getting threatened and the Hijab issue will contribute to further polarization of our society”.

However, Hijab Controversy should be viewed in the greater context of marginalization and demonisation of Muslims in secular India. Since Modi’s re-election in 2019, the government has pushed controversial policies that critics say explicitly ignore Muslims’ rights and are effectively intended to disenfranchise millions of Muslims. The moves have sparked protests in India and drawn international condemnation. Experts say that ‘the longer Hindu nationalists are in power, the greater the change will be to Muslims’ status and the harder it will be to reverse such changes”. The international community, in their own ways have been condemning the divisive far-right politics being pursued by Modi, fuelling Islamophobia under garb of Hindu nationalism. Nobel Laureate Malala said ‘Objectification of women persists — for wearing less or more. Indian leaders must stop the marginalisation of Muslim women’. However, as protests now spreading across India, there is no sign that Modi will face a political cost at least internally, for his anti-Muslim policies. In a sense, internationally he is sadly joining an increasing list of leaders who are implementing anti-Muslim policies.

Genocide Watch Founder Stanton who predicted the Rwanda genocide said ‘We are warning that genocide could very well happen in India”. Genocide was not an event but a process which starts with hate speech and demonisation. Only determined intervention and preventive action by the international community against the racist bully India (like against China), can avert such an avoidable disaster waiting to happen in this part of the world.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    2

    Let us get things in perspective.
    The ban is in the state of Karnataka where the BJP is playing religious politics to keep its hold on power. But look at the reaction across India. I think that the protests are a clear indication of the scale of resentment against sectarianism at state level.
    *
    The parallel with Trincomalee is pathetic.
    He says “…a Muslim teacher wearing Abhaya was harassed and ‘kicked out’ of her school …leading to suspicion of the RSS outreach beyond the shores of India”
    That is is a little over the top.
    The VHP secured a foothold here in the 1970s. Despite the likes of Maravanpulavu S and his Shiva Sena, anti-Muslim bigotry is nowhere near a strong trend in the country. (I see more of it on CT pages.)
    Communal feelings are strong among all communities: Tamil ‘Hindus’ are no exception. That is no defence of any form of bigotry.
    The author can be a little objective with his observations.

    • 23
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      Mohamed Harees, you are a typical Islamic fanatic, who will not hesitate to point a finger on others, while turning a blind eye to Muslim atrocities on non-Muslims. The worst violation of human rights is getting rid of right to life. This happened in Pakistan last month when a Christian priest and a Hindu merchant were gunned down by Islamic terrorists. Previously a Sinhala engineer was lynched for removing Islamic stickers quite rightly from the factory walls, which should not have been pasted there. Worst racists in the world are Muslims. Worst racism in Srilanka is Muslim claim for eastern province when they went there as refugees 400 years ago, and to achieve it to commit murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils. This is why Europeans do not want to admit Muslims because the same thing will happen to their countries. Worst terrorism in Srilanka is killing of 300 Christians on a single day by Islamic terrorists. Muslims are ungrateful lot, betraying Kandyan kingdom which gave them protection from persecution from Portuguese by showing British the Galagedera route to enter Kandy, when they failed several times through steeper Kadugannawa route. (CONTD)

      • 17
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        (CONTD) Muslims are again ungrateful to kill and drive away Tamil descendants, whose ancestors gave refuge to their ancestors. Cardinal Malcolm is fighting a lone battle to get justice for his flock and none of Muslim politicians or journalists have given support to him. If not for the restraint shown by Catholics for the grave provocation caused by Islamic terrorists, by now several Muslims would have been dead and several properties of Muslims would have been destroyed. There is plan by Muslims to Islamize south India and Srilanka where they feel those people are easy prey. Why should Muslims who obeyed all these days suddenly become assertive. Karnataka people say that it is the Urdu speaking Muslims are creating trouble, probably being instigated by Pakistan. Police have arrested two Islamic organisation who have been caught instigating Muslims to violence. It is well known that agents of Pakistan are working among Muslims in eastern province to create trouble to Tamils. Presidential commission Easter Bombings have stated that Muslim terrorists have been given financial and logistical support by the government, which had been going on since 1985 and continuing even after end of war. It is the Muslims who are trouble creators whether in Srilanka or in the world. (CONTD)

        • 18
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          (CONTD) What is happening in Trincomalee is a good example where Muslims are unwilling to respect the tradition and culture of non-Muslims. If that woman was not allowed to enter the school, she should have left and brought the matter to the courts. Instead of that she has behaved in a thug like manner. taking video recording and pushing the Principal down, which is criminal offence. Why has she not been arrested for this. Will any Muslim woman ever dare to do this in a Sinhala school, without being stripped naked and thrown out. Muslim men growing beard and wearing Arabic dress and Muslim women wearing Abayas and Burkhas are signs of Islamic extremism, against which government must take action. Every Muslim country is carrying out genocide against non-Muslims, which the writer is blind about. When non Muslims react to these acts of Islamomania, Muslims shout out Islamophobia to cover their crime. Prior to 2001 September twin tower bombing, Pakistanis were openly campaigning on the streets of London distributing literature about establishing Islamic caliphate encompassing the world. How can this be possible without murdering non Muslims en masse. It is time to tell the Islamic racists where to get off.

        • 9
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          Dr.GS

          “Karnataka people say that it is the Urdu speaking Muslims are creating trouble,”

          how can wearing a hijab create trouble for others. they should ask this hindu saffron thugs how is it affecting them.I can’t see any difference between them and the saffron thugs here like gnanasera thera. Is dr.GS then supporting our bhuddhist monks too? It will be a tragedy if hindus too become like the bhuddhist monks here.People in glass houses can’t throw stones at others.How can we condemn the sinhalese bhuddhists for what they do to us when we support the unfair treatement of muslims in india by hindus.Jesus said let those who never sinned throw the first stone.All the stoning stopped. tamils as victims have to be careful in our behaviour and should not be ensnared in a divide and rule trap.When muslims are persecuted we must immediately condemn it regardless of who does it.

      • 9
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        ” Muslims are ungrateful lot, betraying Kandyan kingdom which gave them protection from persecution from Portuguese by showing British the Galagedera route to enter Kandy, when they failed several times through steeper Kadugannawa route. “

        bollocks.It was pilimatalawa who showed the british the route to kandy,but the british were defeated in the first kandyan war though they captured senkadagala for a short time.In the second kandyan war ehellepola ran off tothe british and helped them while the kandyan nobles also rebelled against the cruel and barbaric telugu king sri wickrema rajasinghe.So to blame the muslims is unfair as the real culprits were the kandyan aristocracy who were prepared to sacrifice the kingdom due to their hate against the tyrannical rule of a foreigner telugu king.

      • 2
        15

        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam
        “Worst racism in Srilanka is Muslim claim for eastern province when they went there as refugees 400 years ago, and to achieve it to commit murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils.”

        Worst racism is descendants of Malabars (Tamils after 1911) who came to Yapanaya as mercenaries in 13th Century and Dravidians brought as coolies by Portuguese and Dutch claiming NE where indigenous Sinhalayo inhabited for thousands of years and Sinhala Kingdoms Anuradhapura (377 BC to 1017 AD) and Polonnaruwa (1056 AD–1232 AD) that were destroyed by Dravida invaders from Hindusthan existed as their ‘Traditional Homeland’ and massacring Sinhala Buddhists for three decades to grab their land to create a separate State.

      • 2
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        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam
        “Worst terrorism in Srilanka is killing of 300 Christians on a single day by Islamic terrorists.”

        Are you suffering from selective amnesia to forget Tamil terrorism by LTTE who massacred Sinhala Buddhist men, women, children, Buddhist monks and even fetus of pregnant Sinhala women using suicide bombers, claymore bombs, AK 47s, chemical bombs, swords and machetes? Suffering caused to Sinhala Buddhists from Tamil terrorism is worse than the damage caused by Muslim terrorism because Tamil terrorism lasted for three decades. .

        Tamil and Muslim terrorists ruined Sinhale, the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo.

      • 2
        7

        Muslims cannot join Tamil Elam because of this type of attitude of Tamil!

        Muslims want a nation of their own within the island.

        • 7
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          GATAM what is the type of attitude of Tamils that you are talking about. Tamils are stressing that their culture and tradition should be respected by Muslims. Muslims will never be given an inch of land by Sinhalese and for Muslims to have a nation of their own they have to commit murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils. If Muslims shed racism by not claiming lands where they are not the first nation, there will be no issue.

          • 2
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            dr.GS

            “Muslims to have a nation of their own they have to commit murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils.”

            not necessarily.The east can be divided up equally between sinhalese,tamils and muslims based on their prepondeance in prts of the east.Then a relocation of the balance in the other parts to those parts having their preponderance can be done.Those who want to change their names and race should be allowed to do so and stay where they are already and get assimilated with the rest.

            However i prefer the swiss model for sri lanka where the sinhalese,tamils and muslims can live in one country peacefully without dividng up a country which is already ranked 122 in the world in size.In switzerland those of german,french and itaalian ancestry live perfectly well together and i hope when we put out our new constitution we will copy the swiss model and make sri lanka the switzerland of asia.However unlike the swiss our people are immature and childish and idon’t think in my life time i will see sri lanka ever emerge in the developed world.

            • 2
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              Shankar, I agree with you to some extent, however deliberate killings and ethnic cleansing of Tamils has happened in many areas of the east and even some parts of the north by the Sri Lankan state as well as the Muslims to deliberately make them a minority or chase them away entirely and take over their land and change the demography. Especially in the Trincomalee, Amparai, and in the Manal Aru area in the Mullaitheevu district now renamed as Weli Oya. A literal Sinhalese translation of Tamil Manal Aru meaning Sandy River, little do Sinhalese hardliners know that Weli ( Sandy) is derived from Tamil Veli meaning open sandy space. Oya ( river ) is derived from Tamil Oodai or Ooyaval meaning river or rivulet. Similarly, Pattipalai Aru was renamed Galoya when Sinhalese were settled here in the 1950s. This is why you can see a huge unexplained drop in the percentage of the Tamil population in the east, especially in the Trincomalee district from 1981 to 2012, and an unexplained increase in the percentage of Muslims here. Killings, and large-scale ethnic cleansings.

              • 2
                0

                We cannot allow deliberate ethnic and using force and the power of the state, which happened only in the last 50 years, which is a war crime as per the UN to be legalized, rewarded and the Muslims and Sinhalese given the lands of the Tamils, that they now occupy by this process. There were hardly any Sinhalese in the north and east at the time of independence. Less than 1% in the north and around 4,5% in the east. Tamils were the majority in all provinces. You cannot have people who only arrived in an area, deliberately planted on ethnically cleansed lands, especially in the last 40 years to decide the fate of a people who had lived there for more than 3000 years owned and ruled their lands. You also should realize the Tamils of the north and east are indigenous and have the same rights to their lands as the Sinhalese down south and their love for their lands, history language, and heritage are the same as the Sinhalese. The Muslims and Indian origin Tamils have different priorities from them, as they largely live amongst the Sinhalese and are recent immigrants from South India. They will not have the same love for the north and east as the Eelam Tamils.

                • 1
                  0

                  Their ancient culture, language, or heritage. If the Sinhalese and to some extent Muslims are allowed to keep ethnically cleansed Tamil lands in the north and east, then the Nuwara Eliya district and many other parts in the Central highlands should be declared the homeland of the Indian origin estate Tamils who have now lived there as a majority for the past 150 years( not for 40-50 years as the Sinhalese in the east and north) and also did not ethnically cleanse anyone. The same goes to many parts of Coastal Puttalam/Chilaw areas and Colombo where the Tamil speakers from all three ethnicities, indigenous, Indian origin, and Tamil Muslim have been in a majority for centuries and again did not ethnically cleanse anyone and were already there in the case of coastal Puttalam/Chilaw or came and purchased lands legally and have now lived there for more than a century. What is good for the Sinhalese is also good for the others. You cannot have one rule for them and another for others.

  • 14
    4

    Mohamed, I support the right of Muslim women to wear the Hijab. Sikhs are allowed to wear turban for religious reasons and many Christians. Orthodox Jewish and North Indian Hindu women also cover their heads. However trying to compare what is happening in Karnataka, which has now become a hotbed of Hindu extremism with what happened in the Hindu School in Trincomalee is like comparing oranges with mangoes. In Karnataka, the local Muslim women and girls have been wearing the Hijab for generations and attending schools, offices, and everywhere going about their business peacefully. They were not agitating for any form of Islamic dress code or rights. This was part of their culture and dress form and there were also non-Hijab-wearing Muslim women. No one cared. This is the work of right-wing Hinduvata extremists, who were also targetting local Kannada and other Christians and had attacked and destroyed many churches in Karnataka. There was no need for this rightwing Hinduvata saffron flag display by many local Hindu students when they never wore it previously, whilst the local Muslim girls and students who are native to the state have been wearing the Hijab or covering their heads going about their business peacefully for generations and no one questioned until the BJP won this state and let the Hindu extremist genie out of the bottle, in this once peaceful multi-religious and linguistic state.

    • 11
      3

      The Kannadigas have always been language fanatics and chauvinists and have many times attacked native Tamil-speaking minorities living in Bangalore and in large numbers in the south of the state. These areas should have gone to Tamil Nadu but the Tamil politicians then like now in India and Ceylon did not care or were not forceful. Now they are fast becoming religious fanatics too. To exacerbate matters the Muslim populations in Karnataka as well as in Telangana are predominant North Indian, Afghan even some Iranian/Turkish ancestry, who arrived with the Muslim invaders from the north of India when they invaded and ruled these areas. Eg. Tippu Sultan the Nizams of Hyderabad. Even the minority of local native Kannadiga and Telugu converts to Islam, soon assimilated into them. They speak Urdu or a dialect of Urdu called Dakhani( southern like Dakuna in Sinhalese). Therefore the largely Hindu and even Christian local Kannada and Telugu speakers in these lands do not easily identify themselves with them or consider them much as fellow Kannadigas or Telugus. Compare this with Kerala and Tamil Nadu where the Muslim as well as Christian population speak Tamil or Malayalam and even strongly identify themselves with the Tamil or Malayalam ethnicity, even the ones who have some Western Asian ancestry. Arab in the case of Muslims or Jewish or Syrian in the case of Christians. Since they are considered to be fellow Tamils or Malayalee the Hindu majority in these states will never harm them, maybe a few Hindu fundamentalists.

      • 10
        2

        These two states which were part of the ancient Tamil country until a few centuries ago have always been very secular, where Islam and Christianity arrived largely through trade or missionaries, the most famous being St. Thomas the apostle to then Tamil Chera( Kerala ) country where he landed and then to the Tamil Chola country where he was martyred and not by violence, therefore there has always been strong amicable relations between the local Hindus, Christians, and Muslims in these states. The local language and the common ethnic identity are very strong here and take precedence over everything else. This is why North Indian Hindians do not like them much, as the Hindi language and Hindu extremism have not taken root here. The Hindu way of life is very strong but it is very gentle and very secular, not virulent. As for Trincomalee, it was not the local Tamil Hindus who started this but it was in my opinion a deliberate provocation in a Hindu school by some Muslim female teachers who have been following the local Muslim custom of wearing the saree and covering their head with the end, for years, all of a sudden attending the school fully covered in the black Abaya, which in reality is a loose outer garment, that is generally removed, as soon as you come indoors and refusing to remove it, stating it is their right. No one protested to them wearing a heard scarf or covering their head, as they were doing this already and even wearing the Abaya outdoors but not within the school premises, where the dress code for all females teachers belonging to any religion is the traditional saree. Which is also the traditional dress code of the local Muslim women for centuries.

        • 11
          1

          What was the reason for behaving in this manner all of a sudden and stating she will still wear the Abaya indoors too? Who put them up to this? Would they have done the same thing in a Sinhalese school? Or they thought the Tamils are weak now so start the attack on them and their institutions/organizations as well as lands?
          The authorities should have just ignored her or them and when there was no reaction it may have fizzled out or the authorities feared that if they let this go, further and more extremist and virulent demands would have been made from this Hindu School in the name of religious rights from these Muslim teachers and to nip this in the bud. This is the difference in Karnataka innocent Muslims who were just going about their lives jobs and studies were provoked by religious extremists, in Trincomalee Muslim teachers who were wearing sarees all of sudden appeared in black Abaya outer garments at a local Hindu school and were refusing to remove them, stating it was their fundamental religious right to wear this. Yes, I will say covering head can be but when did wearing the Black outer garment Abaya, usually worn in western Asia and North Africa become a religious right, when it was not here until recently.

      • 3
        9

        Have you considered the role of Priyaar in Tamilnadu (then Chennai) and a strong left tendency in Kerala, even within the Congress at one time.
        Caste prejudices and caste-based practices are however a little worse in Kerala.

  • 19
    4

    The Hindu-Muslim stand-off in India is legendary. Pakistan came into being as a Nation state fathered by Jinnah.
    Comparing the Hijab issue in Karnataka with the solitary Muslim Teacher and her insistence to wear the Hijab at Shanmuga Hindu Ladies College at Eastern Trincomalee
    is rather a long shot by the essayist.
    There is a Muslim behind the scenes move to make the Eastern Province a Traditional homeland of the Muslims……………………….

  • 19
    1

    SSS, you seems to have “hit the nail on the head”. To be objective I have lived in South in different periods. 35 Years ago, though a Hijab / head scarf was the tradition I did not come across Burqa , which is now replacing Hijab, even among conventional Muslims.

    • 14
      4

      Yes, ethnic South Indian origin Thamizh Muslim immigrants, who arrived in the Thamizh east as refugees fleeing persecution, first fleeing the Portuguese along the North West coast and then Chingkallams in the Kandyan areas, where they first fled. At the request of King Senarath of Kandy, the Thamizh Vannmai chiefs of the east took pity on them as fellow Thamizh and gave them refuge, land, and even local Hindu Mukkuva Thamizh women as brides, as most of these refugees were young men. Now in the name of Islam and a fake Arab ancestry and Arabism, there is a very large behind the scene move by Muslims and Muslim organizations to steal the land of the indigenous Hindu Eezham Thamizh and Thamilized Hindu Vedda and claim it as theirs, as they think they can do so, as the Thamizh is politically weak and no one including Hindia does not care for them.

      • 13
        4

        Just lip service and talk in the UN by Hindia and the west but all support to Chingkallams overtly and covertly. Look at India giving lots of aid to Chingkallams with no talk of Thamizh rights or the Sec 13a implementation, that they signed and guaranteed and the cause of all the friction with the LTTE. They want to legalize the large-scale ethnic cleansing of Thamizh in the Trincomalee and Amparai district and claim everything as theirs when they are only found in certain enclaves and a majority in these highly populated enclaves or small coastal strips in Amparai. This is why the eastern Islamic University that was built on Thamizh Hindu land, Date palm planting and Arabic name boards in Kattankudi, destruction of Hindu temples, and this Hijab/Abaya controversy in a Hindu school in Trincomalee. To stake and claim ownership of the Thamizh east for them. Chingkallams at the beginning encouraged this Arabization as a tool to distance them away from their Thamizh culture and use it as a tool to marginalize the Thamizh, especially in the east. Little did they know it will one day come to bite them too.

        • 12
          4

          No Islamic state in Western Asia, so now many working hard to bring a fake Arab Islamic state in Thamizh Hindu land in eastern Sri Lanka for South Indian origin fake Arab Dravidian Thamizh Muslims, who only arrived here a few centuries ago as refugees and now claiming ancient Hindu Thamizh east as their historic homeland. Is this some sort of macabre joke?

  • 15
    0

    Muslim minorities in non Muslim majority countries are entitled to the same rights as non Muslim minorities enjoy in Muslim majority countries. No more. No less.

    Soma

    • 1
      0

      soman

      Please explain.
      Or grow up.

  • 10
    5

    Islamic logic:
    According to your religion I have the right practise my religion. According to my religion I have the right to kill you.
    Therefore according to your own religion I have the right to kill you.

    Soma

    • 1
      0

      soman

      “Therefore according to your own religion I have the right to kill you.”

      Whether you have the legal right or not you still keep killing. Why do you need Muslim reassurances for what you have already been practicing for well over 100 years, with impunity.

      I think Gota needs a good riots right now.
      Will you be helping him?

      Ella still posses his revolver/pistol as I haven’t seen/heard him surrendering it to the police.

  • 17
    2

    Most primary and secondary schools all over the world have strict dress codes for their students and even for the staff. This is especially true of schools that are aligned to some religion and as everyone knows there are Buddhist schools, Christian schools, Hindu Schools and Muslim schools in this country. The schools also have the right to make changes to their dress codes as and when the need arises. Sometime ago a female student of an International School demanded that she be allowed to attend school wearing a trouser suit! Of course, she was not allowed to do that.

    Many banks, supermarkets, mobile phone service providers and other businesses have special uniforms for their staff. Even when there is no specified uniform there is a formal dress code to ensure propriety and uniformity. Therefore, it is not correct to find fault with any institution or establishment for enforcing a dress code.

  • 13
    1

    We should look at the Hijab/Burga issue whether it is a human rights issue or political issue. In number of countries in Europe and in some parts of China and Sri Lanka. Hijab may be not banned in all these countries. Hijab is not a common Muslim dress in Sri Lanka. I do not know the author will advise a Hindu girl going to a Muslim school in a mini skirt?

    In Sudan in 2014, there was outrage as nine women faced 40 lashes for the crime of wearing western-style slacks. If you’re a woman and you’re in Saudi Arabia, flashing an inch of flesh is a criminal act.
    It’s a bad time, too, for women in socially conservative Uganda, who face arrest if they’re seen wearing skirts or shorts “above the knee”, following new legislation that bans “indecent dressing”.

    It is easy to create religious problems among communities because it is now a political rather than a human rights issue.

    • 2
      9

      There are no absolute rights and wrongs in the matter of attire.
      If a community has certain values that it cherishes, it is civilized conduct to respect it.
      A,
      What a pleasant surprise!
      You talk about Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Uganda. How come?
      Is not talking about other countries taboo in your rule book?

  • 7
    1

    Why the pretence?

    Go back to the fundamentals/basics …………. go naked.

    That’s how we all started.

    The world was a simpler place.

    “Advancement” ……….. is supposed to solve problems: not create more.


    In the thick of Berlin …….. and many other German cities, there are nudist parks ……… no one is throwing stones at anyone ………. except at the puritanical Lankans hiding in the bushes …………

    • 6
      1

      No subject should be taboo ……. are we only talking about liberation for the men?

      What about women?

      Is Ramona a personal property of Native Vedda? Like his laptop, phone, car, shoes? ………… Treat her as he pleases?

      If men get excited looking at women, then shouldn’t they be the ones wearing blinkers or eye-patches? ………. Why blame the women and put the burden on them? …….. Can they help it, if they are beautiful?

      Would ye prefer a world full of ugly women, to help ye keep ye morals intact?……… You can’t have it both ways!

      All ye men are bloody pathetic.

      • 2
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        nimal fernando

        “If men get excited looking at women, then shouldn’t they be the ones wearing blinkers or eye-patches?”

        I agree with you however I recommend chastity belts for men, the keys should be given to their mother, sister or wife for safe keeping.

  • 10
    1

    The brewing controversies over Abaya vs. Saree (Trincomalee) and Islamic attire (Karnataka) brought to mind an article written by a Pakistani and published in a Pakistani newspaper several years ago.

    His essay was a response to the adoption of the Burqa by more and more Pakistani women.

    The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

    Below are the details and link to the article.

    “Our national dress is the shalwar kameez, not the niqab”
    By Noman Ansari
    The Express Tribune
    Published: January 27, 2016

    https://tribune.com.pk/article/31903/our-national-dress-is-the-shalwar-kameez-not-the-niqab

  • 12
    2

    This is an unwanted issue. Some external forces wanted to create a religious tension in India. Abdul Kalam was a Muslim, but he was loved by Hindus. Likewise Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu, but was loved by Muslims. Wearing hijab is one’s choice. But there are many instances where dangerous weapons such as knives, bombs, etc, are hidden inside the hijab dress and stabbed people. There wearing hijab should be confined to mosques and Islamic places of interests in a world that confronts terrorism today. Shouting slogans ‘Allaho Akbar’ after wearing hijab in public has also become a considerable debate. It means God is great. But has anyone defined or described the nature of God. Moreover shouting slogan ‘Jai Sri Ram’ in public is also a considerable debate. But Holland is a country that has Sri Ram depicted in its currency. Even Indonesia has Lord Ganesh depicted in its currency. Both are non-Hindu countries which give prominence to Hinduism. What is required is tolerance and should not make it a national issue. There should be mutual understandings among the communities. Even Nobel Laureate Malala failed to condemn both Pakistan & Afghanistan where Muslim women were punished cruelly. At least Modi had the courage to save some Afghan Muslims and brought them to India. It is not fair to blame India because India practices tolerance.

  • 3
    12

    Sinhalayo have to live with these headaches because of the kindheartedness of Sinhala Buddhist King Senerath of Kandy.

    • 8
      4

      Yes, I know and you are one of them. Not a headache but a migraine recurring and awful. As for King Senarath whose two sons were married to Thamizh princess from the kingdom of Jaffna, was kind-hearted but still not kind-hearted enough to settle the vast majority of this South Indian origin immigrant Thamizh Muslims fleeing Portuguese persecution along the northwest coast, in Kandyan Chingkalla lands, as the Chingkallams took a few of them and did not want more of them and started the protest and commit violence on them, he cleverly passed on the burden to the eastern Thamizh Vannimai Chieftains and the eastern Thamizh Hindus. Who were the ones who took pity on them and settled them on their lands, gave them a home, and even Hindu Thamizh Mukkuva women to marry and start a family. Now they are repaying this kind act, by committing treachery and trying to steal the very same land of the people who gave them refuge, as fellow Thamizh despite being of another faith. They may speak Thamizh and be ethnically Thamizh, which they constantly and stubbornly deny, till thy kingdom comes, despite all the Historical and DNA evidence. How many of them even remotely look like Arabs, North Indians, Iranians, Afghans or anyone. Only a very small percentage.

      • 8
        3

        They have no love for the Thamizh language, culture, or heritage but have been brainwashed by their largely opportunistic elite and politicians to worship an alien language, culture, and heritage in the name of religion and claim it as their own, thinking this will give them the immense political opportunity and economic advantages. Take every opportunity to undermine and disadvantage the island’s Hindu and Christian Thamizh and at their expense enjoy benefits.

    • 4
      3

      Not kindheartedness EE, it is called stupidity.

      • 5
        4

        GATAM,
        Come to think of it you are right. It was a stupid decision taken by King Senerath. If he did not take that decision:
        • Could have avoided hundreds of Sinhalayo losing their lives in 1915
        • Could have avoided Easter Sunday Terrorist attack that killed about 300 people and wounded about 500 people.
        • Could have avoided anti-Sinhala Buddhist riots in Aluthgama, Digana, Gintota and several other places.
        • No protests against ‘One Country One Law’
        • No Abaya, Hijab, Burqa issues

  • 9
    2

    Dress is a protective. It has to serve and satisfy the function of protecting our body from the harmful effects caused by the environment in which we live. The belief that a dress ought to denote the cultural bearing of the bearer creates issues that we can live without. Modesty and chaste should be personified by the person, not by the dress.

  • 11
    4

    Maha Modaya Blind Eagle alias HLD, your bull shit is still there while having a jaffna wife at home. Moron you onyl spoilt that ignorant Propasory Jayasumana and RARE admiral that tamils were brought in by Portuguese. Idiot who is Devanai nambiya Theesan, Who is Buddha, who is Vijaya. What was you guys religion and language at the time of Devanai nambiya Theesan. Can you tell me a single authentic evidence that your religion or language or culture ever existed during earlier times. All, even now, are systematically coppied and adopted. Then Portuguease Sinhalaya like you spread lies for a pittance. Are you now sending your dole money from Australia by UNDIYAL? Just see how your racism and lies ruined SL and your master is begging all around yet thinks no end of himslef. With Indian one billion he is again talking big. Shame on you moron.

  • 6
    2

    Modi is not alone. Gota is the same. Israel is the same. France, USA, etc. are the same.

    The common denominator is not Modi.

    • 4
      1

      Muslim countries are also the same. Can you name a single Muslim country which is not racist. In Indonesia the only Muslim majority nation which has declared itself secular, non Muslims are being charged for blasphemy and instances of murder of non-Muslims are common. In a riot few years ago 800 Chinese were killed and their properties destroyed.

  • 4
    0

    India – Bad
    China – Bad
    West – Very Bad
    Sri Lanka – Bad
    Pakistan – Good
    Bangladesh – Good
    Saudi Arabia – Very Good

    Instead of finding fault with your host countries that have very kindly given you refuge, why don’t you behave yourself without indulging in your medieval practices?

    • 2
      1

      Reginald Shameless Pererass

      “Instead of finding fault with your host countries that have very kindly given you refuge, why don’t you behave yourself without indulging in your medieval practices?”

      If you want them to behave themselves shouldn’t I impose the same conditions on you those descendants of kallathonie South Indian converts?

      Before start typing you shameless idiots should stop begging from Bangladesh, Middle East, and other Muslim countries and stop sending your women folks to Medieval Middle East kingdoms.

      You dumb asses didn’t have b***s to stop the teen age maid Rizana Nafeek was being beheaded in Saudi Arabia, now you found yourself in a position to challenge them. Yet you dumb asses are keep exporting your women folks. What a pity.
      Go look for your b***s.

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