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Zaira Wasim is the latest celebrity to speak up about the ongoing hijab row in Karnataka. The Dangal actress took to Instagram on Saturday, February 19, and shared a long note condemning the ban on hijab in Karnataka schools and colleges. Calling the hijab an obligation to God and not a choice, Zaira said, “I, as a woman who wears the hijab with gratitude and humility, resent and resist this entire system where women are being stopped and harassed for merely carrying out a religious commitment.”
Zaira Wasim had quit Bollywood in 2019. Now, the Dangal actress is slowly getting back to Instagram. In a recent post on the photo-sharing app, Zaira spoke up about the Karnataka hijab row. Taking to Instagram, Zaira shared a long, detailed note where she criticised the ban on hijab and the harassment that several students have had to face in Karnataka.
Zaira writes in her note, “The inherited notion of hijab being a choice is an ill-informed one. It’s often either a construct of convenience or ignorance. Hijab isn’t a choice but an obligation in Islam. Likewise, a woman who wears the hijab is fulfilling an obligation enjoined upon her by the God she loves and has submitted herself to (sic).”
She further writes, “I, as a woman who wears the hijab with gratitude and humility, resent and resist this entire system where women are being stopped and harassed for merely carrying out a religious commitment (sic).”
Stating that making Muslim women choose between education and hijab is unjust, she said, “Stacking this bias against Muslim women and setting up systems where they should have to decide between education and hijab or to give up either is an absolute injustice. You’re attempting to compel them to make a very specific choice that feeds your agenda and then criticising them while they’re imprisoned in what you’ve constructed. There is no other option to encourage them to choose differently. What is this if not a bias with people who confirm it acting in support of it (sic)?”
Zaira Wasim also added that it is sad that all this is being done ‘in the name of empowerment’. “On top of all this, building a facade that all this is being done in the name of empowerment is even worse when it is quite exactly the opposite of that. Sad (sic),” she concluded her letter.
See post here:

A post shared by Zaira Wasim (@zairawasim_)

The hijab row began on January 1 after six female Muslim students at Government PU College in Udupi claimed they weren’t allowed to enter the college premises in hijabs. A protest against the college authorities ensued, and in the last month, it has evolved into a full-blown controversy across the state of Karnataka.
About a week ago, a video emerged that showed a mob chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, accosting a girl outside a college in Karnataka. The girl, in turn, was seen responding with ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’. This video was particularly condemned by several celebrities, including Kamal Haasan, Richa Chadha and Javed Akhtar. Since then, multiple incidents have taken place all over Karnataka where Muslim girls have come to classes wearing hijabs and Hindu students began wearing saffron shawls as a sign of protest.
On January 31, a writ petition was filed in the Karnataka High Court by a Muslim girl student from Udupi seeking a declaration that wearing a hijab is a fundamental right. The matter is currently in the Karnataka High Court. The HC, in its interim order pending consideration of all petitions related to the hijab row, last week restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious garments within the classroom.
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