MES chief Fazal Ghafoor receives death threat over veil ban

MES chief Fasal Ghafoor receives death threat over ban on veil
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Kozhikode: Muslim Educational Society (MES) president Dr P A Fazal Ghafoor has received death threat after its decision to bar the students from covering their faces on campuses.

The head of the prominent Muslim educational group in Kerala lodged a complaint alleging that an anonymous caller threatened him with dire consequences if he did not withdraw the circular asking students not to attend classes wearing face-covering attire.

A Kozhikode-based progressive group, MES runs 150 educational establishments, including schools and professional colleges.

The threat call was received from an international number, suspected to be from the Gulf, the police said.

According the complaint, the caller used threatening and demeaning words against Ghafoor, a police officer told PTI.

A case is yet to be registered but investigation is already on to trace the caller, the police added.

In the internal circular on April 17, Gafoor had said that any "inappropriate" trend on the campuses should be discouraged.

"Any attire, which is unacceptable in the public society, cannot be allowed, even if it is in the name of modernity or religious ritual," the circular had said.

"Without creating any controversy, the institutions must make sure to implement from 2019-20 academic year that students do not come to the class wearing any attire covering their face," the circular, addressing the secretaries and the principals of the MES institutions, said.

Though the dress code mentioned in the circular triggered opposition from orthodox Muslim organisations and scholars, the MES had maintained that covering women's faces was a new trend and had not been in practice in the community in the state earlier.

Criticising the MES, Samastha, an orthodox outfit of Muslim scholars, said the circular was "un-Islamic" and it should be withdrawn.

In an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Shiv Sena had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's footsteps and ban burqa and other face-covering garments in India, saying it posed a threat to the nation's security.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had attacked the Shiv Sena, alleging that the article was trying to create divisions and polarisation in the society.

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