Hyderabad: Member of Parliament from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi said that he spoke to Muskan Khan, one of the young hijabi students from Mandya in Karnataka who stood up against a mob of jeering right-wing Hindu students, and praised her resolve. Muskan was followed by a mob of young men who wearing bhaga khandwa and raising ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans as soon as they saw her. Muskan held her ground, refused to be cowed down and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen supremo, whose party is fighting the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections, stated on social media from his verified Twitter handle on Thursday that Muskan, a student of PES College in Mandya, had shown “fearlessness” and that she has become a “source of courage for us all”.
“Prayed for her to remain steadfast in her commitment to education while also exercising her freedom of religion & choice,” he stated.
Owaisi was all praise for Muskan’s parents for their “unapologetic upbringing”. He also said that he had the “honour” of meeting her father during the 2018 assembly polls in Karnataka.
At a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh, the parliamentarian who represents Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha informed the gathering that he spoke to Ms Muskan and her father.
The AIMIM supremo is the latest among several well known persons who have expressed their solidarity with Muskan. Earlier, the pan-India body of Muslim clerics the Jamiat-i-Ulama Hind (Mahmood Madani group) announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to Muskan for standing up to the mob of saffron stole-wearing jeering mob of young men.
Social media users began to describe Muskan as “sherni” (tigress) for her unflinching attitude. Hashtags appeared both in support of students who wish to wear the hijab and against the hijab. While many Twitter users defended wearing the hijab as a religious practice that is protected by the Constitution, others indulged in false equivalence and asked whether bikinis could be worn in educational institutions, and tried to make a case for uniformity, largely ignoring religious symbols belonging to other faiths.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court, which is seized of the hijab matter, referred the case to a larger bench.