Pakistan has condemned the sealing and closure of a madrassa for Muslim girls in Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), weeks after Muslim girls in southern India were banned from their classrooms for wearing hijab.
According to the FO, Indian forces stormed the Darul Uloom Khadijatul Kubra in IOJK on Friday, insulting and mistreating students before forcefully evicting them. The educational institution was then sealed.
“Denying Muslim girls access to education, be that in IIOJK or in Karnataka, is a new low under a far-right Hindutva-inspired regime in India,” the FO stated.
The FO highlighted the rampant Islamophobia in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) India, now targeted against girls’ education.
“This illegal act is a fresh reflection of how Indian occupation forces are trampling on and making a mockery of the fundamental rights of Kashmiri girls seeking education,” the FO added.
The FO called on the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take note of the worrying trend.
Earlier this year, schools in Karnataka banned all forms of religious dress in the classroom, including hijab. The heated controversy led to an incident which made international headlines when a Muslim girl was accosted by a group of boys clad in saffron scarves while trying to enter her school.
Saffron, a colour revered in Hinduism, has become a symbol for the BJP, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘Saffron Party’. Since he became prime minister in 2014, BJP leader Narendra Modi has stirred division between Hindus and Muslims, using anti-Islamic rhetoric to consolidate his base.