India hijab ruling: Courtroom upholds ban in Karnataka state that prompted spiritual clashes

India hijab ruling: Court upholds ban in Karnataka state that prompted religious clashes


The state’s top court on Tuesday ruled that the hijab was not an “essential religious practice in Islamic faith” and dismissed a set of petitions filed by Muslim students denied entry to classrooms in multiple schools and colleges across the state.

The court also ruled that requirement for students to comply with school uniforms is a “reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible and which the students cannot object to.”

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai appealed for calm after the ruling, which authorities feared could reignite religious protests.

“I request everybody to follow the high court order and maintain peace and order,” Bommai told reporters Tuesday. “And allow the children to do their education as usual.”

The controversy erupted after students staged a small protest in January demanding they be allowed inside the classroom while wearing the Islamic garments.

Their demonstration prompted rival protests from right-wing Hindus carrying saffron scarves — a color…