Beard, Burqas and Bias: Message from Maldives

Thanks to my colleague’s alert on Twitter, I found this debate in Maldives extremely interesting. While the author of the article is certainly against the widespread inclination to grow beard among the people of his country, and challenges the view that growing beard is part of Islam, the fact that the Human Rights Commission of Maldives directed the reinstatement of an employee, dismissed for refusing to shave, is a pointer to the emphasis on religious freedom in that country, as compared to ours.

We, on this blog, had the opportunity to debate the right of a student, Mohammad Salim, in Madhya Pradesh who was forced to leave a minority-run school, for refusing to shave. Salim has now filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, aggrieved by Justice Katju’s hurtful remarks while dismissing his petition challenging the school’s decision. Whatever the outcome of the petition, both Salim and Justice Katju can rely on this article on Maldives to support their respective positions.

Related Posts:
1. Beard, Burqas and Bias

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1 comment
  • I think, that reliance on this article, or any for that matter must be limited only to interpretations of "secularism" and "tolerance", and must not extend to citing islamic law from quran/hadith/sunnah.

    From what I recall reading somewhere, one of the problems with the interpretative aspects of Shah Bano was the reliance on Quran and choosing the translation proferred by one scholar while completely ignoring other translations.

    These are cases that do not even require interpretation of "essence" of religion, for that is not what the courts are best at doing.

    This is the best way to keep the matter apolitical and further the constitutional ideals.

    P.s. I am not commenting on substantive aspects of Shah Bano, I am commenting on one aspect of judicial process.