Veil and its Unfair Opposition!

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

12 replies

  1. Thanks to chief editor for posting these words. Quite balanced,very logical and soft worded. Its true that one may disagree with face covering but, he cannot force others to agree with him.Full veil can just be cultural but, the question arises, whether Canadian social and legal structure allows to restrict other cultures?

  2. I’ve always heard that Canada is a multicultural country where you can follow easily your culture, your religion, your tradition etc.
    I am really very disapointed to read this article. Why on God’s green earth do they absolutely want to copy negative things from each other.
    I hope that this issue gets no support from the legislatures.

  3. there have been cases in canada where men wore burqa and committed crimes, i will not go in detail here because it is very embarrassing. this is one way to discourage crimes. can someone help me find the verse in the Holy Quran which recommends veil, in particular face. Do women cover their faces when they perform Hajj or Umra, i did not see any such women when i performed Umra. there is no such thing as unlimited freedom. Allah does not look at your faces, or clothes he looks at your hearts and intentions.

    • It is not a debate about wether one should or should not observe purdah. It is about the forcibly preventing
      women who want to choose purdah as their life style,from observing purdah. This is their right of choice.

  4. Thank you Zakaria Virk Sahib for your comment.

    This is a good discussion. I will urge every body to keep the discussion cool and collected and please do not make it an emotional issue.

    A relaxed exchange of ideas should be the hallmark of the 21st century.

    Additionally, may be the author can translate it into English as well as requested by two commenters.

  5. Crimes happen everyday and everywhere. Burqa woman are no exception . They are not angels.Thus they should be and are dealt like a criminal. But as per law system, all criminals are acknowledged their ethnic back ground and are provided a translator. Likewise a Muslim woman should be provided with a female Police. Respecting her ethnic back ground.Why only a Muslim woman be deprived a human consideration?

  6. This is also extremism in reverse. As I am against forcing women to wear a veil, I am also against forcing them NOT to wear a veil. There should be no compulsion by law in religious matters. State should not interfere with religion.

  7. Very well said, Saeed Sheikh Sahib. In our new site, Islam for the West, we have a section for the separation of Mosque-Church and State in the right column. Having said that sometimes the State may have genuine concerns to ensure law and order, security and equal rights for all her citizens.

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