Nobel Laureate Malala Faces Backlash After Intervening in Karnataka Hijab Row
08:47 GMT 09.02.2022 (Updated: 14:08 GMT 14.02.2023)
© AP Photo / Kirsty WigglesworthFILE - In this Wednesday, May 29, 2019 file photo, Malala Yousafzai is interviewed ahead of the Cricket World Cup opening party along The Mall in London
© AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
The controversy over hijabs in colleges is gripping India's Karnataka, with Muslim students filing a petition with a local court to seek permission to wear headscarves in classrooms.
Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai is facing backlash after her comment on the controversy over Muslim students in India, which she called "horrifying".
Malala has taken to Twitter to support Muslim students who were refused entry in pre-university schools for wearing a hijab.
"Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is horrifying", she said. "Objectification of women persists — for wearing less or more. Indian leaders must stop the marginalisation of Muslim women".
The scandal over the right to wear a hijab in classrooms has been brewing in the state, with the tensions turning violent on Tuesday, when stone-throwing incidents were reported. The tensions prompted Karnataka State Chief Basavaraj Bommai to shut down all schools and colleges for three days. He even made an appeal "to maintain peace and harmony".
In light of this, Malala's comments were met with harsh criticism online as she was blamed for reacting without knowing all of the facts.
Slamming Malala over her stand, prominent Sikh leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who recently joined the federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said in a tweet that "it is strange that she never spoke about issues like forced conversion of Hindu girls in Pakistan".
Strange! @Malala never spoke on other significant issues like forced conversion of minor Hindu Sikh girls in Pakistan but today she is tweeting without verifying facts!! https://t.co/fEq8PDR0Yi— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) February 8, 2022
A section of netizens also lashed out at her and some described Malala as "the biggest hypocrite".
Shot by terrorist for not following their rules— Periyar peran (@Johnwic20159237) February 9, 2022
Settled in uk
Received noble prize for this
Now want our girls to follow the same rules which she refused to follow#Hypocrite #Malala #Burka
© Photo : Twitter/@abhijitmajumderMalala Yousafzai slammed for voicing support for Muslim girls' demand to wear a hijab.
Malala Yousafzai slammed for voicing support for Muslim girls' demand to wear a hijab.
© Photo : Twitter/@abhijitmajumder
© Photo : Twitter/@MrSinha_A Twitter user calls Malala Yousafzai a hypocrite.
A Twitter user calls Malala Yousafzai a hypocrite.
© Photo : Twitter/@MrSinha_
© Photo : Twitter/@shashank_ssjAnother user slams Malala Yousafzai.
Another user slams Malala Yousafzai.
© Photo : Twitter/@shashank_ssj
© Photo : Twitter/@RShivshankarMalala Yousafzai faces backlash for wading into Karnataka hijab row.
Malala Yousafzai faces backlash for wading into Karnataka hijab row.
© Photo : Twitter/@RShivshankar
© Photo : Twitter/@shikha__rajputAnother User Calls Malala Hypocrite
Another User Calls Malala Hypocrite
© Photo : Twitter/@shikha__rajput
Born in Pakistan, Malala was shot by Taliban terrorists in 2012 when she was only 11 for speaking out publicly on behalf of girls and their right to learn, which made her a target in her own country.
She was taken to a hospital in Birmingham in the UK, where she recovered and later continued her activism for education for girls. In 2014, after months of surgeries and rehabilitation, she joined her family in their new home in the UK.
With her father's help, she set up the Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to providing every girl with an opportunity to achieve a future she chooses.
In recognition of her work, Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2014 and became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate. She went on to study philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford and graduated in 2020.