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Mumbra school bans naqaab, cites security issues; parents upset

“Our hijabs are meant to be wrapped in a way that our faces are visible at all times,” said a student of the school.

| Mumbai | Updated: December 25, 2017 6:24:52 pm

PARENTS OF children attending a private school in Mumbra have expressed unhappiness at the school’s decision to disallow naqaabs, that cover the face, on its premises. The school has cited security issues as the reason for its decision.

Early this month, Symbiosis school in Mumbra released a circular saying students’ parents and family members would have to reveal their face by lifting the veil while entering school premises. It also said students would not be allowed to cover their faces, even while leaving school. “Our hijabs are meant to be wrapped in a way that our faces are visible at all times,” said a student of the school.

School trustee Kamalraj Deo said the step was necessary for security reasons. “Some students left school in a fully-veiled burkha. When their parents came, our security wouldn’t know where their girls were,” he said.

In addition, the school recently came across two women seeking to take their child home early. “Their faces were covered. We summoned the class teacher, but before she could arrive, the two ran away,” he said, calling it an attempted abduction.

Though many parents have expressed discomfort at what they deem to be interference with religious practices, some others welcomed the decision.

“I don’t intend to hurt any religious sentiments, but on camera, faces need to be revealed, for our records… It is purely for safety reasons,” said Deo.

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