PANAJI: The Students Islamic Organization of India (SIOI) Goa Zone has refuted claims that the students were coerced into wearing the hijab while attending a mosque as part of a program in Vasco, and has expressed significant concern with the course of events surrounding those instances.
After it was claimed that he escorted a group of students to a mosque at the invitation of the SIOI as part of a campaign to foster inter communal harmony, the principal of a private higher secondary school in Dabolim was suspended.
Usman Khan, the president of the SIOI Goa Zone, asserted that the claims that we coerced the students to wear the hijab are wholly unfounded.
“We never attempt to do any activity that will force students to do anything against their consent,” he said.
The organization, according to Khan, is extremely alarmed by the developments surrounding the students’ visit to the mosque, which was planned to highlight the fact that all religions share similar principles and values.
According to him, SIO Goa has been hosting this event for the general public and students for about ten years.
“The goal of this activity has always been to dispel misconceptions about many facets of Islam among our brothers who practice other faiths, especially the Hindu and Christian groups. We were frequently asked why women are not allowed in the mosque, what goes on inside, to whom do Muslims worship, and other questions, added Khan.
The SIOI has asked the civil society to support projects that work to foster a constructive social climate and to resist misinformation and social trends that seek to divide and deceive the public.
The organization has also urged the education department to support similar initiatives in order to promote inter communal harmony.