Muslim teacher resigns after being told to remove burqa in India

School administration calls episode 'misunderstanding'


News Desk December 10, 2016
PHOTO: Reuters

A Muslim teacher employed at an Indian school has reportedly resigned after the headmistress asked her to remove her hijab and burqa.

Khan Shabina Nazneen, 25, a teacher at Mumbai's Vivek English High School in Kasaiwada, reportedly quit her job due to the hostile working environment. However, the school administration claimed the incident was a "misunderstanding".

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Nazneed said she was being targeted by the new headmistress who joined the school in June, 2016.  Nazneed had been working at the school for two years and nine months.

“Since the new headmistress joined, she has asked me to remove my hijab and burqa on several occasions, saying it was against the decorum of the school. When I pointed out that I had the right to wear my traditional attire, I was told I had to abide by the rule,” Nazneen said. “I was told that other Muslim teachers did not wear the hijab and I must follow suit,” she added.

“It was my turn to do the morning assembly, where we sing the prayers and the national anthem. I was forced to remove my burqa as the headmistress said I could not sing the national anthem with the burqa on,” Nazneen said. The principal of the school, on the other hand, denied any discrimination.

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Vikram Pillai, the principal said, “The new headmistress has brought in some new rules. A misunderstanding seems to have culminated as a result.”

“The management will hear the grievance of the teacher on Monday,” Pillai said. The principal further said that the school had scores of Muslim students who donned the hijab and burqa and they had never been stopped from doing so.

Taking up the matter, non-government organisation Jai Ho Foundation has written to Indian Education Minister Vinod Tawde, Adil Khatri, a trustee of the foundation said. “This is in violation of her right under Article 25 of the Constitution. We have told the minister that this is creating an environment that is not good for the society,” Khatri said.

This article originally appeared on The Indian Express.

COMMENTS (1)

ikram | 4 years ago | Reply Secular school = secular rules. No place for religious attire.
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