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Why India expressed concern over International Day to Combat Islamophobia

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New Delhi, Mar 16: India expressed concern as the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to proclaim March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia. India while expressing concern over phobia against one religion being elevated to the level of an international day.

India also said that there are growing contemporary forms of religiophobia, especially anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias. The 193 member UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which was introduced by Pakistan's ambassador Munir Akram.

Drumming up a phobia: Why has hijab become more important than education

The kind of Islamophobia that is being raised in recent times has become overbearing. Recently the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) raised the hijab issue in India.

One official tells OneIndia that this is a well oiled machinery that is at work. There are radical as well as some sponsored elements including journalists who create a phobia when there is none existent. Take for instance the hijab issue which broke out in Karnataka. It was a non-starter and was never discussed, but these above mentioned elements managed to turn into a huge event that not only became the discourse in the nation, but was also spoken about by the International community.

The approach taken by these elements is multi-fold. One one hand they radicalise and chase the Muslim youth into terror groups such as the Islamic State and on the other they create a perception that Islam is in danger. This is a clear attempt to ruin India's image and show the nation as being intolerant, the official also explained.

Kerala was a laboratory for some of these Islamic radicals and with them getting huge success there, they are now trying to spread it to other states. Similar issues have been raked up in Kerala over the years and on some occasions even the judiciary had to intervene.

The official cited above says that the current laboratory of these radicals is Coastal Karnataka. They are trying to do in Karnataka what they did in Kerala over the years. They are trying to push the Hijab before Kitab narrative. The extent of radicalisation in Coastal Karnataka is evident from the National Investigation Agency's case in connection with an Islamic State case.

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday said Hijab is not an essential religious practise in Islam. The court also said that the prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction and is constitutionally permissible.

The demand by a section of Muslim girls in an Udupi pre-university college to wear Hijab inside their classrooms erupted into a major row after some Hindu students turned up in saffron shawls with the issue spreading to other parts of the state, even as the government insisted on a uniform norm.

While rejecting a batch of petitions, the court said that the prescription of a school uniform is only a reasonable restriction. The prescription of a school uniform is also constitutionally permissible.

Another official explains that be it the anti-CAA protests, NRC and now the hijab issue, it is clear that these are parts of a very large and dangerous conspiracy. By creating a false narrative that the government is trying to snatch away the rights of the minority community, they create fear and in turn these persons react in a radical manner. He further asks if wearing the hijab is more important than attending class. Some of the girls have clearly stated that they will not attend class without a hijab, without understanding that they are being played by unseen hands who do not have a care about their education as long as Islamophobia and their narrative is set.

The Karnataka High Court in its verdict had said the way the hijab imbroglio unfolded gives scope for the argument that some 'unseen hands' are at work to engineer social unrest and disharmony. Much is not necessary to specify. The order has been challenged and will now be heard by the Supreme Court.

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