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Headscarf Ban: Khursheed asks institutions to be considerate on dress code

Sunday, August 23, 2009 02:36:32 PM, IANS

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Hyderabad: Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed Friday asked educational institutions to be sensitive to the concerns and feelings of all communities, specially when it comes to dress codes and food habits.

 

Reacting to an incident in Karnataka where a private college disallowed a Muslim girl to wear a head scarf, the minister said such issues should be sorted out through dialogue.

 

"We have to be sensitive and considerate to concerns and feelings of every community. This has nothing to do with only minority communities. We have to be careful about all communities. I think these matters should be settled through dialogue and not through accusations and mistrust," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

 

He pointed out that there were many institutions that accommodated dress codes and food habits of different communities. "If we can live together in this country, we should try and accommodate," he said.

 

Sri Venkataramana Swamy (SVS) College in Bantwal, Karnataka, stirred a row by barring a Muslim girl student from entering the classroom wearing a head scarf.

 

Khursheed said a parallel could not be drawn with France.

"I don't think there is much to learn from France. Let us not forget that what happened in France relates to schools run by the state. The extent to which the state is required to be neutral between different communities is not the same right minority or majority institutions have," he said.

 

Asked about renowned Islamic scholar Moulana Wahiduddin Khan's statement that the 'burqa' was not an Islamic dress code, the minister said Islam used the word 'hijab' which is probably different from burqa.

 

"Hijab can be interpreted in different ways. Whether it is a religious or cultural issue, we have to be sensitive to the feelings of other communities," he stressed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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