A Muslim college girl from the Indian state of Karnataka, who has become a symbol of Muslim women's resistance to protect their right to wear hijab or headscarf, said on Thursday that there is "no need to fear."
Earlier this week, a video widely circulated on social media showed Muskan Khan, a college girl in a headscarf being harassed by a mob of men with saffron shawls -- a color seen as a Hindu symbol, but also associated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Khan has been hailed for braving threats and confronting the mob as she arrived at the college in southern Mandya city on Tuesday.
While the mob yelled “Jai Sri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) repeatedly, Khan shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) as she was led away by college officials.
Khan told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview that when was confronted by the mob, she was not scared and remembered Allah.
"I remembered Allah because when we remember Allah, we get lot of courage and power. So I shouted Allahu Akbar," she said.
A row over hijab has erupted across India after a college in Karnataka told students to take off their headscarf inside the classroom. Those protesting the move say that the Constitution allows Indians to wear clothes of their choice and display religious symbols.
Muslim students have challenged the move in court. The Karnataka High Court has referred the case to a larger bench that will take the case on Thursday.
While the hijab ban in college was disappointing, Khan said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received.
"Everybody is sending me love, support ... I am not scared," she said, adding that she is a "proud Indian."
Stating that she is only fighting for her rights, the young Muslim woman said that she is waiting for the High Court hearing.
"I am waiting for the High Court hearing and our great Constitution is not against any religion. I am proud of it," she said.
Khan said she was hopeful for an India where religious harmony prevails.
"There are some people who have gone astray, but they are also my brothers. I am sure everything will be fine very soon," she said, adding that the college principal and other staff at the institute have supported her.