ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkish rights groups on Saturday held a protest in Istanbul against a headscarf ban in the Indian state of Karnataka.
Organized by the Free Thought and Educational Rights Society (Ozgurder) and Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for the Oppressed (Mazlumder), the demonstration took place around the Indian Consulate General after Muslim girls were barred from classes in some Indian colleges for wearing hijab.
Addressing the protest, Ozgurder chair Ridvan Kaya said the ban was the culmination of anti-Muslim tendencies and Indian nationalism, emboldened in recent years.
He said that the “suppression” of 200 million Indian Muslims must come to an end.
Human rights activist and lawyer Gulden Sonmez said that the ban was unacceptable.
“We don’t approve of a ban on the clothes of the members of any religion,” she said.
The hijab row started when female Muslim students were barred last month from attending their classes at a government college in the Udupi district of the southwestern Karnataka province as they were wearing hijab.