After the deadly terrorist attack on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka that claimed the lives of over 300 people, the government of the Island nation acted tough against terrorism and banned women from wearing face veils under an emergency law. Speaking on this, a spokesman for President Maithripala Sirisena named Dharmasri Bandara Ekanayake said “It is a presidential order to ban any dress covering faces with immediate effect”.
Now a similar move has been taken up in India where Kerala Muslim Education Group has banned the face veils on campuses. The Muslim educational group in Kerala named Muslim Education Society (MES), which runs several educational institutions, has issued a circular urging its students not to attend classes wearing any face-covering attire.
MES Institutions president PK Fazal Gafoor said “Without creating any controversy, the institutions must make sure to implement from 2019-20 academic year that students do not come to the class wearing any attire covering their face”.
He added “According to the High Court order all managements retain their right to decide on dress code. We will not allow students or teachers to cover their faces with face veil from the coming academic year. Covering the face is not inherent to the culture in Kerala, the tradition and practices of faith followed here. Students cannot even be recognised with their face veils nor students can follow the teachers well if they wear face veil. If any other Muslim organisations have issues with this decision, they can allow for face veils in institutions under them”.
He concluded saying “We have freedom to ban such attires on our campuses. There is no need to consult with religious outfits for that”.
However, several organisations slammed this circular. Samashtha, an orthodox outfit of Muslim scholars, condemned this and its scholar Umar Faize stated “As per the Islamic rules, the body parts of women should not be shown out. The MES has no right to issue a circular banning the attire covering the face of women. Islamic rules should be followed”.