By Anisa Tahira Masood, Toronto
Recently I went through a news in a local Urdu newspaper in Toronto that certain people, who declare themselves the flag bearer of so called “Free Thinking” group, and consider them selves to be liberators of the oppressed, will serve the Muslim ladies by proposing a ban on Purdah in Canada.. Ironically they do not realize that they too are inflicting oppression to a certain portion of population. To them one can only say, thank you we appreciate your sentiments but please “help us, don’t help us”.
Can we imagine that even in this most advanced era, educated people think and dare to interfere into as private a matter as faith? And yet they claim to be rationalists. Then what is extremism. Do they have the authority to speak the minds of tens of thousand of Muslim women that are living across Canada? Many of these women practice face veil devotedly like worship. And would feel like a fish out of water without it. But this bunch of well wishers want to deprive them from their choice of freewill, their basic birth right. And besides they should know. Canada is a multicultural country; by allowing this interference they will open door to such approach for others. If this practice is not allowed to others, for the other’s, then why only they be allowed to target Muslim faith. Is this not discrimination and injustice. The worst form of an injustice is which is done in the name of Justice.
They claim that face veil is not an Islamic Purdah. Who authorized them to make this conclusion?
The fact is interpretation of the verses of veil is understood differently by the different schools of thoughts throughout the Muslim world. Hence some believe to cover the face necessary, as that is how it was understood by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and practiced by his wives and the other Muslim ladies of the time and late. That is some Muslims strictly follow Sunnah i.e the practice of the Holy Prophet. And some adhere to only Quranic words and choose not to interpret. Hence every sect practices the verses about Purdah according to their understanding. So no one can force ones own understanding to others. As Holy Quran clearly says “There is no compulsion in Religion”. What a Muslim must do is enjoin the good and forbid evil, with utmost patience and humble attitude. And make sure that he/she creates no unrest while spreading the good word. And leave the rest to Allah. No force is allowed. Muslims too have by no means the right to exceed the limits that are granted by Allah while responding to opposition. Because God our Lord has clearly warned triggering unrest is heinous then a murder.
Thus if these people do not like Islamic Purdah sure they can discuss it, write about it. But by no means can they pass a verdict on others. I believed that in a just and civilized society like Canada they will not be allowed this. If this law inflicted on Muslims then no other society or culture will be safe here. If the others are not questioned to wear their ethnic or cultural dresses then why only Muslim woman should be deprived.
I would not go into the diversity of culture here but this can trigger unrest in the peaceful and blissful environment of our land that is Canada. Peace and harmony is the main ingredient by which Nations prosper.
The Issue of woman oppression is not mainly related to Purdah. It exists to its extreme measures even in the places where Purdah does not exist. The root cause is the evil intention not an ethnic background. So it is very important that when we address, or conduct a research on these issues our thinking, we should be rational, sincere and based on indiscriminate mode.
This Purdah opposing group is organizing seminars writing in the news papers, trying to reach at the government level to accomplish their target, we too should respond the same way. No more no less. In order to bring an awareness of the reality. And at the same time strive for equality and justice.
Purdah is not the only reason of crime, threat or racial issues in the world, there are anonymous or infinite. The ratio of crime in Purdah is a comparatively very little. Hence if remedies can be done for other ethnic and cultures, without touching the issue of faith or culture, so should be done in the situation of crimes in purdah.
The Government in Canada arranges a translator for the reason of language barrier. When taking an oath, the book of the faith of an individual is provided. Then why not a woman police be given to a Muslim women in Purdah? She also has the same rights. The Canadian law strongly respects and acknowledges ethnic differences. I believe our Government as just and considerate as it is will not exempt a certain group from this bliss of rights.
Canada is a beautiful multicultural country where with all the diversity people respect each others differences and live happily.
The government will not allow some radical free thinker to violate this law.
So these people who are proposing a ban on Purdah, even if they influence the higher authority, and get their will done, still it remains unfair and unjust and unacceptable. No one will agree with them but by violating the basic law and right of human freedom of choice. It is our duty to reach out to them and let them know the reality. With our entire humbleness firm believe in equality, justice and sincerity. This is what Islam is is all about This is what humanity is. This is the demand of the time and situation. May God enable us. Amen
Categories: Ahmadiyyat: True Islam