Muslim Educational Society chief PA Fazal Gafoor has lodged a police complaint.

Muslim Educational Society chief gets death threat over banning veils at institutions
news Crime Sunday, May 05, 2019 - 09:34

PA Fazal Gafoor, founder of the Muslim Educational Society in Kerala who recently banned students from covering their faces on his campuses has received a death threat, according to reports.

The caller reportedly threatened Gafoor with dire consequences if he did not withdraw the circular asking students to come to class without a veil. The call was made from an international number, possibly from the Gulf, and the caller not just threatened him but used abusive language, alleged Gafoor. A police complaint has been lodged.

"I received a phone call from a mobile on Friday, threatening to kill me. It was a male voice and he used very harsh, threatening and demeaning words on me," Gafoor reportedly said in his complaint.

"He seemed to have very agitated and furious over the issuance of circular banning face veil in MES institutions,” Gafoor said in his complaint, according to NDTV.

Although a case is yet to be registered, investigations are ongoing, the police said.

A Kozhikode-based group, the Muslim Educational Society runs around 150 academic institutions including schools and colleges in Kerala and the Gulf.

On May 2, MES released a circular that any attire which is not acceptable in public but is worn in the name of modernity or religious faith cannot be acceptable. From the class of 2019-2020, the circular which is addressed to the secretariat and principals of the schools, said that it would not allow students to attend classes covering their faces.

The circular has triggered opposition. However, Gafoor argued that the practice of covering the face was a new trend which did not exist previously in the state.

Samastha, an orthodox outfit of Muslim scholars, criticised Gafoor and said that the circular was un-Islamic and hence would be withdrawn.

Kerala Minister for Higher Education KT Jaleel, however, extended his support to the Muslim Education Society leadership on their decision to ban the veil..Jaleel, a CPI(M) leader, stated that Muslim bodies must introspect before imposing dress codes which are un-Islamic in nature.

"Muslim women don't cover their faces while they go to Haj. Islam says that women should not hide their faces. Therefore insisting a face veil is wrong," he said.

The minister, however, clarified that the state had no intention of imposing any dress code on any person. He asked the group to come up with an amicable solution.

Regarding the burqa, Jaleel said that the outfit had only spread because of commercial interests in society. The proliferation of burqa shops is proof of this, he added.

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