Hijab row: Seers, Moulvis and representatives of the Christian community call for peace

Amid the ongoing hijab row in Karnataka, leaders of all faiths – Hindu seers, Muslim clerics and church officials – gathered on Saturday to call for peace and harmony in the state.

The religious leaders, who spoke at a press conference after a joint meeting in Bangalore, said it was essential for all to keep calm and keep the peace until the court gave him a final order.

Shivamurthy Sharanaru, Seer of Muruga Mutt in Chitradurga, Moulana Maqsood Imran, Chief Imam of Jamia Masjid in KR Market, Bangalore, and Vivian Moris, who represented the Archbishop of Bangalore, among others attended the meeting.

“The court’s interim order only applies to educational institutions where College Development Committees (CDCs) have mandated the wearing of uniforms. The government should ensure that this is followed,” the leaders said in a joint statement.

Stating that education is most important for students, Shivamurthy Sharanaru called on people to refrain from engaging in activities that may create communal discord on campuses.

Moulana Maqsood who pointed out that Karnataka has always followed a custom that people from all communities live in peace and harmony, said, “It is our responsibility to carry this legacy forward. As the question of whether the hijab should be allowed inside schools is under consideration by the court, it should not be discussed any further.

Moulana Shabeer Ahmed Nadvi, president of the Naasih Foundation, said the decision whether or not to wear the hijab is an individual decision. “However, we call on students to keep the peace and focus on their studies. Classes are to be held online for those who are worried about attending class without a hijab. All political parties should try to solve this problem on the ground,” he said.

Prof. Vivian Moris said the problem affected the image of the country. He said, “As the Foreign Office said, this issue is a domestic matter and we don’t want other countries to interfere. We have the ability to handle and manage the issue internally.

All of the leaders said it was important for people to wait for the final court order.

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