In a recent rally held in the Karimganj region of Assam on January 23, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, the president of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), sparked controversy with his contentious statements. Addressing the crowd, Ajmal recommended that Muslim women engaged in prestigious professions such as IAS, IPS, and the medical field should be obligated to wear the hijab.
During his speech, Ajmal asserted that wearing a hijab is essential for Muslim women in these sectors to be recognised for their Muslim identities. He questioned, “If Muslim women do not know how to wear hijab or cover their hair, how will they be recognised as Muslims?” The AIUDF president emphasised that the hijab is not an option but a compulsory practice for Muslim women. He stated, “Hijab is a must. Hair is the devil’s thread, and makeup is the devil’s work.”
Ajmal highlighted instances where he observed young women in other areas wearing the hijab while studying, walking with their eyes lowered and heads downcast. He urged girls in Assam to continue wearing the hijab, citing religious obligations.
During the rally, Ajmal also laid the cornerstone for a mosque and cemetery in Karimganj. Notably, this is not the first time Ajmal has courted controversy. Previously, he made headlines for wearing a lungi, an unconventional piece of clothing, at the foundation stone-laying ceremony in the North Karimganj constituency.
In a controversial statement made on October 27th of the previous year, Ajmal declared that he would repeal the proposed law in Assam prohibiting polygamy if his party gained power. He encouraged those with the ability to consider marrying two wives and expressed confidence in overturning the government-imposed restrictions on second marriages.
Earlier, on October 20th, Ajmal expressed concern about Muslims ranking “number 1” in crimes such as robbery, rape, murder, eve-teasing, and jail time. He attributed the high crime rate among Muslims to a lack of education and criticised the community’s involvement in unlawful activities. Ajmal’s statements have sparked debates and discussions about the intersection of religious practices and professional life.