Church welcomes relaxation of hijab ban in Indian state

Catholic officials have welcomed the southern Indian Karnataka state relaxing a ban on traditional hijab (head scarf) by allowing Muslim women to wear it while appearing for government recruitment exams.

“There was no need for any such ban, and we are happy that the present government has taken steps to relax it,” said Father Faustine Lucas Lobo, spokesperson of Karnataka Catholic Bishops’ Council.

The decision was taken on Oct. 22 at a review meeting attended by Karnataka state’s Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who goes by one name, and Higher Education Minister M C Sudhakar, who are from the ruling Congress party.

Sudhakar told the media that students will “be allowed to write examinations wearing the hijab,” referring to the competitive exams for jobs conducted by the state government.

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