Kerala's Muslim Educational Society (MES), which controls a total of 150 educational institutions, has banned “any dress that covers the face” for girls on all the campuses it runs. While its circular avoids the word “niqab”, in effect it prohibits veils of any kind. Circular issued by MES state president Fazal Gafoor on April 19, said, “The MES will not encourage any type of veils on its campus... Managers of each MES institution will have to ensure girl students do not come to the campus with their faces covered. They are hereby asked to include this as a rule on the campus from academic year 2019-20. MES controls 10 professional colleges, 18 arts and science colleges, 12 higher secondary and 36 CBSE-affiliated schools. Some Muslim organisations have reacted against the ban. Samastha Kerala Jem-Iyyathul Ulema state president Syed Muhammad Jiffiri Muthokoya Thangal questioned the MES' authority to “pass diktats” on religious issues.