Khalistani organization Sikhs For Justice supports burqa girls, demands new Muslim country called ‘Urduistan’: Details

Amidst the ongoing controversy over the refusal of permission to some female Muslim students to wear hijab in the classrooms of a Pre-University College (PUC) in Udupi in Karnataka, Khalistani outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) had demanded the creation of a ‘new Muslim country’ and conducting of a referendum on the issue of ‘hijab’.

While speaking about the matter, SFJ chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannun falsely claimed that India is putting a blanket ban on wearing hijab in the country. The extremist then resorted to fear-mongering and alleged that the supposed ‘hijab ban’ in India would be followed by a ban on Azaan, Namaz and Quran.

“Modi’s India wants to be a Hindu country. What 200 million Muslims of India should do? Start Hijab referendum movement. It should break India, balkanize it and create a Muslim country from the Union of India named Urduistan,” he said

“In 1992, they destroyed Babri masjid and Muslims remained quiet. And then, there were Gujarat killings of Muslims and Muslims remained quiet. They took over Kashmir and Muslims remained quiet. You cannot keep quiet when somebody is challenging your religious beliefs,” Pannu said.

The Khalistani went on to claim that Hijab is the fundamental/birthright of every Muslim. “Sikhs are following a Khalistan referendum to liberate Punjab from Indian occupation. We will guide you (Islamists), organise you and fund the Muslims of India. You also start a Hijab referendum movement for the creation of a new country from Union of India called Urduistan.”

Screengrab of the website of Hijab referendum movement

The SFJ chief also called upon the Indian Islamists to learn from Pakistan and how they created a separate Muslim nation. To further his sinister agenda, he has set up a website by the name of ‘Hijab referendum’. The Khalistani extremist had urged the Islamists to share their name, Whatsapp number and email ID will his proscribed organisation.

Pannu even showed a map of the proposed ‘Urduistan’. The imaginary country includes Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, UP, Bihar and West Bengal.

Earlier on January 11 this year, Pannu asked Sikh youths to hoist the Khalistani flag on India Gate and remove the Indian flag from other places in Delhi. Pannu declared an award of USD 2.5 lakh for anyone who hoists the Khalistani flag on India gate. He further threatened the Indian government, saying that if peaceful protests were not allowed, the Sikhs in India would not hesitate to join the armed insurrection of Khalistan.

Recently, the Taliban had also extended support to the burqa-wearing girls in Karnataka who demand an exemption from the uniform dress code.

Who is Muskan Khan – the poster girl of hijab protest; all that is known about her

The video showed Muskan being heckled on arrival at her college in Karnataka on wearing a hijab by saffron-clad students. Muskan, however, shows no sign of being scared of the visibly violent mob.

Muskan Khan, a girl student from Karnataka’s Mandya pre-University college, has become the poster girl of pro-Hijab protests across India. Muskan hogged headlines when a video showing her shouting the “Allah Hu Akbar” slogan against a mob of right-wing students went viral on social media.

The video showed Muskan being heckled on arrival at her college in Karnataka on wearing a hijab by saffron-clad students. Muskan, however, shows no sign of being scared of the visibly violent mob. She instead shouts back with “Allah Hu Akbar” slogans.

Muskan is a second-year Commerce student of Mandya’s pre-University college, Zee Salaam has reported. The video in question went viral on social media in no time. The girl grabbed the attention of some of the top politicians of the country who praised her.

The video showed Muskan being heckled on arrival at her college in Karnataka on wearing a hijab by saffron-clad students. Muskan, however, shows no sign of being scared of the visibly violent mob. She instead shouts back with “Allah Hu Akbar” slogans.

Muskan is a second year Commerce student of Mandya’s pre-University college, Zee Salaam has reported. The video in question went viral on social media in no time. The girl grabbed the attention of some of the top politicians of the country who praised her.

Asaduddin Owaisi’s comments on Muskan Khan

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that the girl’s “act of fearlessness has become a source of courage for all”.

“Spoke to Muskan and her family on call. Prayed for her to remain steadfast in her commitment to education while also exercising her freedom of religion and choice,” Owaisi posted on his Twitter handle.

How the Hijab row started

The Hijab protests in the state began in January this year – when some students at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi district in Karnataka alleged that they were barred from attending classes.

During the protests, some students claimed they were denied entry into the college for wearing hijab. Following this incident, students of different colleges arrived at Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura wearing saffron stoles.

The situation was the same in several colleges in the Udupi district after the pre-University education board released a circular stating that students can wear only the uniform approved by the school administration and no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges.

Following these protests, a three-day holiday from February 9 has been declared in all the universities under the Department of Higher Education and colleges under the department of Collegiate and Technical Education (DCTE).

Hijab row: No ‘religious clothes’ until the decision, says Indian high court

A court in the southern Indian state of Karnataka told students on Thursday not to wear any religious clothing until it delivers a verdict on petitions seeking to overturn a ban on hijabs, headscarves used by Muslim women.

The court in Karnataka state is considering petitions filed by students challenging a ban on hijabs that some schools have implemented in recent weeks.

“We will pass an order. But till the matter is resolved, no student should insist on wearing religious dress,” the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi as saying.

The advocates appearing for the petitioners objected to the interim order, saying it amounts to “suspension of our rights”, according to The Wire. But the court said it was a matter of a few days and adjourned for the day.

The court also directed the state to reopen schools and colleges which the chief minister had shut for three days as protests over the ban escalated earlier this week.

The issue grabbed headlines last month when a government-run school in Karnataka’s Udupi district barred students wearing hijabs from entering classrooms, triggering protests outside the school gate. More schools in the state followed with similar bans, forcing the state’s top court to intervene.

However, the issue shot to the spotlight and garnered reactions from celebrities and politicians in India and Pakistan after a video of a hijab-clad student being heckled and jeered at by a mob of Hindutva supporters in Karnataka surfaced on social media.

The uneasy standoff has raised fears among Muslim students who say they are being deprived of their religious rights in the Hindu-majority nation. On Monday, hundreds of students and parents took to the streets to protest the restriction.

The dispute in Karnataka has set off protests elsewhere in India. A number of demonstrators were detained in the capital, New Delhi, on Thursday, and students and activists have also marched in cities including Hyderabad and Kolkata in recent days.

A day ago, hundreds of students in Kolkata shouted slogans and blocked roads in protest against the ban.

The protesting students were predominantly women wearing hijabs, an eyewitness said, adding the demonstrations were without incident. The students said that they planned to reconvene on Thursday.

Meanwhile, MP Shashi Tharoor of Congress party said there is no law banning religious forms of dress in India. “(T)here is no law banning religious forms of dress like a Sikh turban or a crucifix around your neck or a tilak on the forehead, all of which are forbidden in France’s government schools but permitted in India’s,” he said in response to a question.

Last week, Rahul Gandhi of the Congress party also voiced opposition to the ban and tweeted: “By letting students’ hijab come in the way of their education, we are robbing the future of the daughters of India.”

The issue has also captured attention in Pakistan.

“Depriving Muslim girls of an education is a grave violation of fundamental human rights,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted on Wednesday, calling the situation “absolutely oppressive.”

Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, special representative to the prime minister on religious harmony and chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, announced that Friday would be observed as a day of solidarity with “daughters of India”.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai also condemned the ban.

“Refusing to let girls to go to school in their hijabs is horrifying,” the 24-year-old tweeted.

For many Muslim women, hijab is part of their faith and a way to maintain modesty.

It has been a source of controversy for decades in some Western countries, particularly in France, which in 2004 banned them from being worn in public schools.

In India, where Muslims make up about 14 per cent of the country’s almost 1.4 billion people, they are not banned or restricted in public places and are a common sight.

Some rights activists have voiced concerns that the bans could increase Islamophobia. Violence and hate speech against Muslims have increased under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing Hindu nationalist party, which also governs the Karnataka state.