'It's Their Choice': Boxing Champ Nikhat Zareen on Muslim Girls Wearing Hijab
Zareen said that if girls wanted to wear hijab and follow their religion, it was completely up to them.
World boxing champion Nikhat Zareen on Monday, 23 May, spoke on the controversy regarding Muslim girls wearing hijab in educational institutions, saying that a person's attire was completely their choice.
"It is totally their own choice. I can't comment on their choices. I have my own choice. I like to wear such clothes. I don't mind wearing such clothes. My family doesn't mind me wearing such clothes. So, I don't care what people say about me," Zareen was quoted as saying by NDTV.
She added that if girls wanted to wear hijab and follow their religion, it was completely up to them. "I don't have any problem with them wearing hijabs. After all, it's their own choice. I am okay with that."
Zareen had won the International Boxing Association (IBA) Women's World Boxing Championships 2022 on 19 May in Turkey's Istanbul.
The Controversy Surrounding Hijab
The controversy around hijab emerged in Karnataka in December last year after some right-wing groups objected to Muslim girls being clad in the headscarf while attending classes.
Six Muslim students belonging to Udupi's Government Pre-University College for Girls were barred from attending classes, because they were wearing hijabs.
The institute justified the refusal by saying that "no religious activity will be allowed on campus," and exhorted the students to follow the dictated "dress code," which they claimed was agreed upon by their parents.
The girls were marked absent for at least three weeks before they protested against the ban on 31 December 2021, saying "though it is our constitutional right, they are still not allowing us to go in the class because we are wearing hijab."
The Karnataka High Court had also upheld the ban in March this year, saying that wearing hijabs was not essential under Islam.
The order has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
(With inputs from NDTV.)
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