Muslims at Kenya college barred for wearing hijab

By Andrew Wasike and Magdalene Mukami,

Nairobi, Kenya: Female Muslim students at the Kenya Medical Training College in Mwingi town were denied entry Friday for wearing the hijab.

The students said the issue over their dress code started around two months ago after a new deputy principal was transferred to the college who vowed to ban Muslim students from wearing the hijab, saying it was not part of the school uniform.

“Our female students have not been able to attend school for the last three days as the management has directed the gatekeeper not to allow them [to enter] in their hijabs,” Abdullahi Hassan, a male student, told the Nation newspaper in Kenya.

Yusuf Abdullahi, an official from the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), told Anadolu Agency: “We are aware of what has happened today. We want the issue to be sorted out by the Ministry of Education to avoid the discrimination that we are seeing. We as Muslim leaders will not remain silent.”

This is not the first time that such a case is being reported in Kenya. St. Paul Kiwanjani High School in Isiolo County filed a petition at the High Court earlier this year to ban Muslim girls from wearing the hijab at school. Other high schools and colleges have also banned the hijab, forcing Muslim students to transfer elsewhere.

Kenya’s High Court previously ruled that students should not be allowed to wear different attire at school, saying it encouraged religious and status divisions. But the Court of Appeal later overturned the High Court’s verdict and ruled in favor of allowing Muslim girls to wear the hijab, saying school rules could not be allowed to suppress one’s belief or right of worship.

The decision by the appeals court is not final and can be appealed again at the High Court by any aggrieved party.


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