Kerala Muslim education group MES Institutions bans burqa on campus, sparks row

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kozhikode-based Muslim Education Society (MES) banned girl students from covering their faces with burqas inside its campuses.  "Without creating any controversy, the institutions must make sure to implement from 2019-20 academic year that students do not come to the class wearing any attire covering their face," stated an April 17 circular issued MES Institutions president P K Fazal Gafoor, reported by PTI.  "Any attire, which is unacceptable in the public society, cannot be allowed, even if it is in the name of modernity or religious ritual," it added. The dress code has sparked a controversy across the country, with several Islamic groups objecting to it. Slamming the burqa ban, Darul Uloom Deoband called such an order is against the Islamic law. “The ban is against the Shariat. They should take it back because the purdah is a part of Islam`s basic tenets and necessary for every Muslim woman. The purdah protects the person. The college should withdraw their decision so that basic rights of a person are not attacked,” said Mufti Mohammad Arshad Farooqui of Darul Uloom Deoband. "As per the Islamic rules, the body parts of women should not be shown out. The MES has no right to issue a circular banning the attire covering the face of women. Islamic rules should be followed," Umar Faize, a Samastha scholar told PTI. The education group, however, claims that covering women`s faces is a new trend and hasn`t been a practice in the community in the state earlier. The MES directions come days after Sri Lankan government imposed a complete ban on all types of burqas and face covers in the wake of the horrific terror bombings that rattled the entire country on the occasion of Easter Sunday on April 21, claiming the lives of more than 250 people and injuring hundreds.

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