Hijab not essential in Islamic law: Karnataka High Court

Hijab not essential in Islamic law: Karnataka High Court

Recently the Karnataka High Court has ruled that Hijab is not a mandatory part of religion.

The High Court has given this decision on a petition seeking the right to wear hijab or head scarf along with uniform inside classrooms in schools and colleges.

What did the Karnataka High Court rule?

  • The wearing of the hijab (head scarf) by Muslim women is not a part of the compulsory religious practices in Islam. It is not protected by the right to religious freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution.
  • Prescribing school uniforms does not infringe the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a). It also does not violate the right to privacy under Article 21.
  • The ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions is such a reasonable restriction, which is also allowed in the constitution.

What are the essential religious practice tests?

  • This principle was presented by the Supreme Court in the 1954 “Shirur Math” case. The Supreme Court has developed this principle only to protect such religious practices, which are necessary for conduct according to the religion and are an integral part of the religion.
  • The Supreme Court held that the word “religion”, “integral” to a religion, would encompass all customs and practices.
  • The Court took upon itself the responsibility of determining which practices were mandatory and which were non-compulsory.
  • The Supreme Court in its various judgments has attempted to differentiate between mandatory and non-compulsory practices.

Source – The Hindu

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