The only student wearing the face veil studying at the Faculty of Sharia Law will be asked to remove it during class or face being expelled if she refuses to do so, Dean of the Faculty of Sharia Law Dr Ibrahim Zakariyya Moosa has reportedly stated.
An online religious news website in the Maldives, ‘Islaameenoor’, reported the girl as saying that she was called to go to the office after class, whereupon Dr Zakariyya told her that it was not compulsory for Muslim women to wear the face veil.
Dr Zakariyya reportedly told the girl that studying was compulsory under Islam, and that if wearing the face veil obstructed her from studying, she should not wear it even if it was a Sunnah.
According to Islaameenoor, the girl responded that she did not wear the veil to create confusion about the religion, but to uphold the religion as much as she could, the paper reported.
Dr Zakariyya allegedly told her that he had no choice to allow something disallowed, and that she should not come to study wearing the face veil although she was able to come wearing a loose black hijab.
According to the paper, Dr Zakariyya told her that in different parts of the country terrorists had used the hijab to hide weapons, and that there was “no way to identify the sex of a person wearing the full hijab”.
Dr Zakariyya explained to her that there was no way the faculty could confirm that it was really her attending the exam if she wore the face veil, to which the girl replied that if the faculty was suspicious, female staff working in the faculty could remove her face veil and check.
Dr Zakariyya then told the student that there was an opportunity to secretly have headphones in her ear while doing the exams, which she said was possible even wearing the normal veil without covering the face.
When Minivan News attempted to contact Dr Zakariyya, the front desk at the faculty referred Minivan News to the Maldives National University. The Maldives National University referred Minivan News back to the faculty of Islamic Studies, which said it did not have the authority to comment.
Maldives National University Chancellor, also the former Education Minister Dr Musthafa Luthfy, also said he did not wish to comment on the matter.
Former State Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, currently Dean of Islamic Studies at Villa College, said he had not heard of the matter and would not comment on it unless the reports had been officially confirmed.
Online newspaper ‘Sun’ meanwhile today reported Dr Zakariyya as confirming that the reports were correct, and he had advised a student wearing the face veil to remove it while coming to study.
He reportedly told the paper that the Faculty of Sharia Law would “take strict measures” next year in such cases.