Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale has warned Kenyans against discriminating against Muslim women.
The CS who was speaking at Jamia Mosque Committee on Monday during a cheque presentation ceremony to the Kenya Red Cross said it is mandatory for Muslim women to wear hijabs in public adding that those opposed to the practice should find another country to live in.
He said anyone who feels women should not wear the hijab (the head covering for practising Muslim women) should find another country to live in.
“The government will respect Muslim culture. We will make sure our girls wear hijabs. If you have a problem with our girls & wives wearing hijabs, then you better leave this country because they will wear hijabs,” Duale said.
Hon. Aden Duale: The govt will respect Muslim culture. We will make sure our girls hijab. If you have a problem with our girls & wives wearing hijab, then you better leave this country because they will wear hijab.@HonAdenDuale pic.twitter.com/zuBd5CEK5x
— HorizonTV Kenya🇰🇪 (@HorizonTVKenya) December 20, 2022
The CS was reacting to ongoing concerns of education institutions violating the religious rights of children by prohibiting the wearing of religious attires in schools.
In 2019, Duale also called for women to be allowed to wear hijabs freely when he asked the Ministry of Education to take disciplinary action against school heads violating religious rights in schools.
Duale claimed Muslim girls were facing discrimination due to their religious dress and asked the then Education CS George Magoha to issue a directive to protect them.
According to Duale, the hijab is a highly valued dress code among Muslims as the Quran calls for modest dressing among both men and women.
Many Muslim women in Kenya wear the hijab voluntarily.
A hijab also known as the veil, is the headscarf worn by Muslim women around the globe. It’s a simple piece of cloth women wear to cover their heads in public and amidst men who are not their husbands.
This comes amid ongoing anti-hijab protests – a decades-long fight for freedom- carried out by Iranian women in Iran known to be one of the world’s biggest Islamic-practicing nations.
The wearing of a hijab in public is currently mandatory for women in Iran under strict Islamic law that is enforced by the country’s so-called morality police.
The laws around the head covering sparked a nationwide protest movement after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being apprehended by the morality police allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly.