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Hijab verdict: Court order violates fundamental right to freedom of religion, says Asaduddin Owaisi

New Delhi : Reacting to the Hijab verdict, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said that the Karnataka High Court's decision to uphold the ban on Hijab is a violation of the fundamental rights to freedom of religion, culture and expression. He said, "This Judgment violates fundamental rights like freedom of religion, culture, expression and Article 15. It'll have a negative impact on Muslim women, they'll be targeted. Modernity is not about eschewing religious practices. What is the problem if one wears the hijab." Article 15 of the Indian Constitution secures the citizens from every sort of discrimination by the State, on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth or any of them. Owaisi stated that Hijab is an essential practice. "For a devout person everything is essential and for a non-believer, nothing is essential", he added. "The Preamble mentions 'liberty of thought, expression, belief, and worship'. It is my right to decide the essentiality for my religion. For a devout Muslim, Hijab is an act of worship. If a Muslim woman says that Hijab is essential for faith then not even a Muslim can raise questions on that," added Owaisi. He further said that this decision is discrimination on the basis of religion. It does not serve the purpose to hide religion, caste, or race in schools behind the uniform. The uniforms do not ensure uniformity. "The court or government do not decide essentiality. It is my right, if it does not harm anyone, the state shall not be allowed to interfere in religious affairs. Hijab does not harm anyone. We will appeal in the Supreme Court," said AIMIM Chief. "I disagree with Karnataka High Court's judgement on Hijab. It's my right to disagree with the judgement and I hope that petitioners appeal before SC", tweeted Owaisi. Karnataka High Court on Tuesday observed that the Holy Quran does not mandate the wearing of the hijab, stating that it is a cultural practice and used as apparel as a measure of social security. A batch of petitions was filed against the government's rule in the Karnataka High Court by some girls seeking permission to wear the hijab in educational institutions. A bench of Karnataka High Court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit, and Justice JM Khazi heard the petitions challenging the government rule on dress code. On February 10, the High Court issued an interim order stating that said students should not wear any religious attire to classes till the court issues the final order. The hearings related to the Hijab case were concluded on February 25 and the court had reserved its judgment.

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