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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hijab, latest pawn in Culture War

  Apparently Kenya High has barred its Muslim students from wearing hijabs to foster a sense of equality and uniformity in its dress code. Forgive the logical inconsistency in the previous sentence but does this mean in the spirit of separation of State and Church, the school will stop teaching CRE, ban the wearing of crosses, bibles, christian literature and all forms of  outward expression of faith? My guess is no. This is purely intolerance masquerading as secularism. Hopefully the courts will strike down this blatant interference with students' freedom.

Here is an excerpt of The Daily Nation's report:

Muslim students should not be allowed to wear hijab (head scarf) to school for the sake of equality, a court has been told.
A school, which has been sued by Muslim parents for stopping students from wearing head scarves, defended its decision saying it did not, in any way, discriminate against the rights of the students.Kenya High School said school uniforms were critical in promoting discipline in the student community.“If the court allows the Muslim students to wear head scarves, this will open a can of worms for all manner of demands for wearing of ‘religious’ regalia such as turbans, buibui, ornaments and dreadlocks,” the school said in an affidavit sworn by the board of governors secretary Rosemary Saina.The school’s response arose out of a case filed against it by Mrs Anisa Bashir. She sued the school on behalf of her daughter and 11 others over the decision by the institution to stop the students from wearing hijabs.
The students and their parents want the court to quash the school’s decision.Also sought is an order to bar the school from interfering with the rights of Muslim students to wear hijab as a form of expression and manifestation of their rights.They argued the school’s admission policy was also unlawful as it directly discriminated against them on religious and cultural grounds.The school responded that it had done everything within its powers to ensure Muslim students were catered for.The school said it had done this by ensuring its washrooms were equipped with water bottles for the convenience of Muslims.It also said it had provided prayer rooms for Muslims and arranged for an Islamic preacher to attend to their spiritual needs once a week.On Tuesday, High Court judge Daniel Musinga directed the parties in the matter to go for mention on July 4. 

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