OIC Youth Indonesia

STATEMENT OF INDIA HIJAB BAN RULING BY KARNATAKA HIGH COURT, MARCH 2022

The Executive Board of OIC Youth Indonesia is deeply concerned on the recent Karnataka High Court Decision regarding the hijab ban for Muslim girls in educational institutions. This ruling decision also coincides with the March 15 which has been just adopted by the United Nations as World Anti-Islamophobia Day.

We have witnessed increasing acts of violence and discrimination shows how minimal the Indian government is in maintaining harmony between religious communities in their own country. The xenophobic acts committed against the Muslim community in India have made the life of the Muslim community difficult and hard. especially the right to adhere to a religion and to use religious symbols are also discriminated against in India itself. The act of banning the wearing of headscarves to Muslim women and being left indifferent by the Indian government has greatly hurt the Muslim community living in India and also the world.

We would like to recall that freedom of religion, adhere to religion, and practice religion, and use religious symbols is also stated in Article 18 of the Human Rights Declaration in the United Nations therefore all countries across the world have moral obligation to honor and uphold the declaration in order as step to protecting the Human right in the world. Therefore, the basic right to freedom of religion which is known as human rights is inherent in every human being which cannot be removed indiscriminately or by force. India is also without exception in the obligation by the government and as a state to protect all rights and obligations of every citizen of its own country regardless of ethnicity, race, color, religion whatsoever. This obligation also includes protecting freedom of religion and the use of religious symbols in one’s own country.

Even though Indonesia is a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, it prioritizes a constitutional system that is inclusive to all its citizens, even though they have different backgrounds in ethnicity, race, color and religion. This is proven by the national motto of our country, namely “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” which means unity in diversity. So based on the principle of the national motto, the Indonesian state has 6 official religions that have equal rights and obligations in the eyes of state law, namely: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. These rights and obligations include the freedom to adopt and use religious symbols and are also protected by law. Indonesia has high hopes for all countries in the world that although there are challenges to having a diverse population, unifying them as one country is not impossible. Indonesia wants to remind every country in the world that diversity in terms of ethnicity, race, color, and religion is human nature that cannot be denied and neglected, therefore as a country it has the duty and obligation to unite it all.

We have a very strong belief that Islam is a religion that truly upholds human values, brotherhood values, and values of unity. therefore, it is our duty as a country to set an example for this. Hijab is a religious symbol that is very meaningful for women who follow the Islamic religion. so meaningful that its define the nature of Islam itself that must be honored and respected by the government and cannot be enforced to be taken forcefully. It is the act of practice religion and using religious symbol that must be respected, honored, and protected by the state is thus its obligation. The increase in xenophobic acts against Muslims around the world is a matter that the world needs to be taken more seriously. because this action is an act of violation of religious freedom which is also declared in the United Nations. If this trend kept going it will undermine the value of religion and faith that practiced by its people throughout the world and therefore undermine the peace and stability among communities in country and the world. This is something we cannot sit idle by.

Therefore, OIC Youth Indonesia strongly condemns all acts of violence and discrimination against the Muslim community in India and pressures India to fulfil its obligations as a state in protecting and guaranteeing the rights and obligations of its own citizens and encouraging India to uphold human rights as its declared in the union nations. OIC Youth Indonesia also continues to encourage the international community such as the United Nations to act decisively against human rights violations committed by the government against its own citizens to ensure world order and peace are maintained. Indonesia also encourages OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) in providing support to marginalized Muslim communities around the world, especially what is happening in India by continuing to pressure the Indian government in fulfilling its obligations in upholding the rights and obligations of its citizens, especially the right to practice religion.

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