Hijab is not part of Islam, says Kerala Governor and Islamic Scholar Arif Mohammad Khan

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Governor Arif Mohammad Khan had always fought Islamists for reforms in Islam. He had walked out of the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet in 1986 when then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had overturned the Supreme Court judgment in Shah Bano case.

Kerala Governor and Islamic scholar Arif Mohammad Khan Saturday (February 12) said that hijab is not part of Islam and the controversy around it is the part of conspiracy to hamper the education of Muslim women.

“Hijab is not part of Islam. This word has been mentioned seven times in the Quran, but not in the context of the dress code. The controversy around hijab is part of a conspiracy to hamper the education of Muslim women,” Governor Khan said.

The Governor further said that any individual is free to wear whatever he or she chooses to but when an individual is in any organisation, he/she must follow the dress code of the organisation.

“You are free to wear anything anywhere but when you join an organisation, then you should follow its rules and its dress code. If you do not agree with the rules, then you are free to go to some other institution. I suggest students go back to classrooms,” Governor Khan said.

A massive controversy has broken out in Karnataka when some Muslim girls in Udupi suddenly demanded on February 4 that they be allowed in classrooms in burqa. The administration denied the permission and it snowballed into major controversy. The matter reached Karnataka High Court where the hearing is going on in the case.

Multiple media investigations have revealed that the burqa controversy in the state was orchestrated by the radical Islamist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI).

An argument was floated that if Sikhs could be allowed in turban inside classrooms, why can’t Muslim girls be allowed in burqa. The Governor Khan, replying to the argument, said, “The argument that Sikhs are allowed to wear turbans while Muslim women are being permitted to wear hijab in some schools & colleges is absurd. Turban is an integral part of Sikhism, but there is no mention of hijab in Quran in the context of women’s dress.”

The Congress has jumped in supporting the demand of Muslim girls’ to be allowed in classrooms in burqa. The Congress General Secretary Priyanka Vadra said that what Muslim girls wear in classrooms in their choice. “Whether it is a bikini, a ghoonghat, a pair of jeans or a hijab, it is a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear. This right is GUARANTEED by the Indian constitution. Stop harassing women,” Smt. Vadra had posted on Twitter.

Earlier, the Nehru family scion and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi had also supported Muslim girls’ demand to be allowed in classrooms in burqa.

Governor Arif Mohammad Khan had moved out of the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet in 1986 when PM Gandhi gave in to the Islamists’ demand of overturning the Supreme Court judgment in the Shah Bano case.

In a historic judgment, popularly known as Shah Bano case, the Supreme Court in 1985 upheld a Muslim woman’s right to alimony from a divorced husband.

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