Firebrand BJP leader and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has slammed the video statement released by al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri wherein the latter praised a Karnataka girl student for defending wearing hijab in schools and colleges.
Sarma said it is expected that al-Qaeda will not understand the significance of uniform but Indian Muslims will. Supporting the government's hijab ban which was upheld by the Karnataka High Court, Sarma said if religious clothes are not barred, then educational institutions will become a platform for the display of religious behaviour.
"If you wear hijab, I will wear something else (it will become an idealogy), then school and college will become a platform for the display of religious clothes and religious behaviour. So, how can then school and college continue (with permitting hijab)? That is why the term uniform came so that there's no difference between Hindus and Muslims. There is no difference between poor and rich," news agency ANi quoted Sarma as saying.
"Al Qaeda will never understand but I am sure that Indian Muslims will understand that we have to wear uniforms. Once you finish your school and college, you come back to your home and whatever you want to wear, you wear. I am sure that Indian Muslims are with the judiciary," he added.
Zawahiri had released a clip in which he praised Karnataka college girl student, Muskan Khan, whose video of defending hijab and chanting 'Allahu Akbar' went viral in February in the midst of controversy over banning the hijab in schools and colleges.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said that the video of Zawahiri proves the involvement of an 'invisible hand' behind the row.
"I have also mentioned about the presence of religious fanatic organisations behind the hijab row in the state. The video by Al Qaeda has now proven it," he said. "The Centre, the state Home Ministry and the police department are working on it. This is a very serious matter and duly handled by the authorities."