Kozhikode: A muslim society of Kerala ‘Muslim Educational Society’ (MES), which controls a total of 150 educational institutions banned, “any dress that covers the face” for girls on all the campuses it runs.
Niqab is a garment of clothing that covers the face, worn by some Muslim women as a part of a particular interpretation of hijab.
According to the circular issued by the MES state President Fazal Gafoor, “The MES will not encourage any type of veils on its campus. Managers of each MES institution will have to ensure that girl students do not come to the campus with their faces covered. They are hereby asked to include this as a rule on the campus from academic year 2019-20.”
The MES controls 10 professional colleges, 18 arts and Science colleges, 12 higher secondary and 36 CBSE-affiliated schools.
As per Gafoor, the decision to ban veil was taken before the Sri Lankan government banned the burqa after the serial bomb blasts on April 21. The circular also says, “MES, which aims at the social and cultural progress of the Muslim community, insists that students, even while maintaining high standards in curricular and extra-curricular activities, do follow certain decorum in dress code too. Under these circumstance dresses that are unacceptable to mainstream society — whether they are modern or religious — cannot be promoted.”
However, the other Muslim bodies have condemned this step by MES. Syed Muhammad Jiffiri Muthokoya Thangal President of Samastha Kerala Jem-Iyyathul Ulema said, “Women covering the face is part of our faith and it has been prevailing from the time of the Prophet. There are religious organisations to take decisions on matters related to faith and MES need not meddle in the issue.”