India on Tuesday, 15 February, condemned the "misleading" comments made by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the ongoing hijab row in Karnataka.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson and Joint Secretary Arindam Bagchi issued a response, calling the OIC statement "misleading" and "motivated."
"Issues in India are considered and resolved in accordance with our constitutional framework and mechanisms, as well as democratic ethos and polity."MEA Official Spokesperson and Joint Secretary Arindam Bagchi
The OIC had spoken about the reported incidents of harassment of Muslim women on social media sites as well as banning of Muslim girl students from wearing hijab in Karnataka.
The OIC, an intergovernmental organisation comprising majorly Muslim-dominated nations, has 57 member states, Pakistan being one of them. Its headquarters are located in Jeddah.
What Was OIC's 'Misleading' Statement?
In its statement, the OIC said that “continued attacks targeting Muslims and their places of worship, the recent trend of anti-Muslim legislations in different states and rising incidents of violence against Muslims on flimsy pretexts... are indicative of the growing trend of Islamophobia.”
The OIC urged India "to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the Muslim community... and to bring the instigators and perpetrators of acts of violence and hate crimes against."
Besides calling upon United Nations to take action on the alleged violation of human rights of Muslims in India, the OIC issued a statement on "reported incidents of harassment of Muslim women on social media sites as well as banning of Muslim girl students from wearing hijab in the state of Karnataka."
The OIC had also expressed concern over the hate speeches in Haridwar in December, terming it "recent public calls for genocide of Muslims by Hindutva proponents".
"The communal mindset of the OIC secretariat does not allow for a proper appreciation of these realities. OIC continues to be hijacked by vested interests to further their nefarious propaganda against India... as a result, it has only harmed its own reputation," the MEA said in response to the OCI statement.
The row over hijab began in December 2021 when the principal of a government pre-university college in Udupi district in Karnataka stopped Muslim girls from entering the campus as they were wearing hijabs.
(With inputs from PTI.)