Asaduddin Owaisi,
leader of the AIMIM (All India
Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen), member of Parliament, and a
self-appointed representative of Indian Muslims, said Tuesday that he disagrees
with the Karnataka High Court’s verdict upholding the state government’s order
to ban the hijab in educational institutions. “I disagree with Karnataka High
Court’s judgement on #hijab. It’s my right to disagree with the judgement &
I hope that petitioners appeal before SC (Supreme Court),” Owaisi wrote on

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The Karnataka High
Court, on Tuesday, upheld the state government’s order effectively banning the hijab
in educational institutions. A three-judge bench held that the hijab is not a
part of essential religious practices of Islam; requiring a uniform is not a
violation of fundamental right to freedom of expression under Article 19 (1)
(a) and that no case has been made out for invalidating the GO.

Also Read | Beyond India’s borders, a brief history of the Hijab ban

In a series of tweets,
Owaisi said that it was time to review the essential religious practice test. “For
a devout person, everything is essential & for an atheist nothing is
essential. For a devout Hindu Brahmin, janeu is essential but for a non-Brahmin
it may not be. It is absurd that judges can decide essentiality,” he wrote.

Also Read | Wearing Hijab not essential religious practice: Karnataka High Court

The essential religious
practice test, according to the Indian Supreme Court, refers to “core beliefs
upon which a religion is founded.” The test for essential religious practice is
to check whether the “nature of the religion will be changed without that”
practice. India’s apex court says essentiality of a religious practice will
depend on the tenets, historical background and change in evolved process.

Also Read | Karnataka High Court on Hijab ban: 4 questions, asked and answered

Calling for a review of
this test, Owaisi wrote, “Not even other people of the same religion have the
right to decide essentiality. It is between the individual & God. State
should be allowed to interfere in religious rights only if such acts of worship
harms. Headscarf does not harm anyone.” “Banning headscarf definitely harms
devout Muslim women and their families as it prevents them from accessing
education,” the Hyderabad MP said.