A crowd of women and supporters gathered in Bellevue’s Crossroads Park to stand in solidarity with Muslim women in India who are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.
The government in the Indian state of Karnataka banned the hijab — a veil worn for religious purposes — in classrooms, which organizers said was an assault on religious freedom. The Indian constitution guarantees religious freedom, but a court in Karnataka upheld the ban.
To gain entry to classrooms, women must remove their hijab in public. That is akin to stripping a woman in public, said Hafsa, one of the organizers of the event. None of the participants used their last names because they are afraid of retaliation against family members still living in India.
They see the move against Muslims in India as a continuation of Islamophobia by the ruling BJP party, which is the political home of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ashley Archibald is the editor of Real Change News.
Read more of the Feb. 23-Mar. 1, 2022 issue.