Faysal Quraishi, Feroze Khan and other stars applaud Indian student Muskan for her stand against bigotry
A young woman in India named Muskan has won hearts all over Pakistan for standing up against right-wing extremists.
A video of the burqa-clad young woman went viral on social media when she arrived at her college and was heckled by the swarm of men wearing saffron scarves. Instead of cowering or backing down, she faced them head on and screamed "Allahu Akbar" in response to them chanting "Jai Shri Ram" at her. The video gained her a lot of support and now even celebrities have spoken out, praising her courage.
The Karnataka student told India Today TV what had happened during the incident. "I was going to college to submit an assignment. There were some people who were not allowing me to go to the college because I was wearing a burqa. They were asking me to remove burqa and then go inside." She said she was just passing by the men with saffron scarves protesting against the hijab when "they started shouting slogans, Jai Shri Ram, Jai Sri Ram. So, I screamed 'Allahu Akbar'. That's it."
She added that, "Lots of boys were standing. They were just screaming. They were showing fingers... I was a little bit scared. Then I saw principal and teacher and felt okay".
Students at a government-run high school in Karnataka were told last month not to wear hijabs [headscarves], an edict that soon spread to other educational institutions in the state. This caused a standoff between Muslims who condemn the ban and many right-wing Hindus who have started protesting against hijabs. Authorities in southern India ordered schools to shut down as protests intensified over the ban.
Muskan's brave way of standing up for herself has led to an outpouring of appreciation. From calling her a "lioness" to saying she has "the courage of a thousand men", celebrities such as Faysal Quraishi, Feroze Khan and Ahmed Ali Butt have expressed their respect for her.
Actor Asad Siddiqui sent a prayer her way and wished everyone had her courage and bravery.
Feroze Khan said this is "what a lioness looks like."
Author Fatima Bhutto expressed awe at "the courage of this woman."
Ahmed Ali Butt shared an article about her deed and said she had "the courage of a thousand men."
Actors Syed Jibran and Faysal Quraishi expressed their respect for her.
VJ and actor Anoushey Ashraf shared a screenshot of Muskan's quote saying "Our priority is our education. They're ruining our education," adding "#Allahoakbar."
Both #Muskan and #Allahoakbar are trending on social media as more people show support for the brave young woman. To stand up for your beliefs is always commendable, but to do it when faced with very strong opposition and threats of violence is even more awe inspiring. As news of the hijab ban spreads, more people are rightfully calling on the Indian authorities to stop policing what women wear. Wearing the hijab or not is their choice and they should be given the opportunity to exercise that choice.