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The controversy over the editorial in Saamna, the mouth piece of Shiv Sena, calling for a ban on burqa for security reasons, is yet to die down. The call attracted sharp criticism from people like Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM leader. A long-time alliance partner, the BJP too has distanced itself from the editorial view, saying there is no need for burqa ban in India. According to Mumbai Mirror, even Sena president and Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray are angry at Sanjay Raut, executive editor of Saamna, for writing the burqa editorial.
Now, a circular issued on April 17 by the Muslim Educational Society (MES) in Kerala, which prohibits its students and teachers from concealing their faces, is in news. Through the circular, the MES has banned all kinds of face-covering attires on the campuses of its institutes from the academic year 2019-20. The dress-code directive applies to both students and the faculty members.
Incidentally, the society runs over 150 educational institutes, including engineering and medical colleges. MES president Fazal Gafoor reportedly wants Muslims in Kerala to follow the Islam prevailed in the state, not the one in the Middle East.
The move comes as a bold step when most Muslim religious leaders and organisations vociferously try to defend even practices such as triple talaq and halal, banned in many Muslim countries. As expected, the circular has been criticised by prominent people such as Sayyid Muhammad Jifri Muthukkoya Thangal, president of Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama.
Apparently, educational institutes can do what politicians and religious leaders cannot, and bring in real progress in the community and the society.