Pakistanis split over mandatory burqas for women

Source: DW

The government of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has reversed an order requiring female students to wear a burqa following a huge backlash. But some supporters want the veil imposed all over the country.

Authorities in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Haripur, another city in the conservative province, last week issued a directive to all government educational institutions mandating female students to wear an abaya, a body-shrouding garment that covers a woman’s body from head to toe.

Ziaullah Bangash, the education adviser for the region’s chief minister, said the decision was made to ensure the safety of female students following visits to several regional schools.

The notice triggered an outcry on social media, where the move was harshly criticized as a “cheap publicity feat,” oppressive and a reminder of the days when parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were ruled by the Pakistani Taliban.

Authorities withdrew the order following the backlash. But many conservative Pakistanis had favored the directive and criticized its withdrawal.

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Suggested reading and listening

Dr. Zia H Shah’s interview by Voice of Islam: Is Morality Objective or Subjective?

The Muslim Times Promoting Hijab rather than Burqa after Boris Johnson’s ‘Burqa Storm’

Burqa or Hijab: That is the Question?

8 replies

  1. …and yet the burqua or Hijab is made an article of faith, forgetting the religion.e advocacy of compassion, peace and love, which are pushed to the background, just as Hinduism is ritualised and original meaning ignored by most.

    • anyway, we should never forget that the mother of Jesus, according to all the paintings in the churches, is always wearing a hijab. Therefore all Christians who are talking against it go against their own tradition and culture and history. (Only one Italian Minister remembered that)

      • It is bot the Hijab, the Sik’s turban or the Brahmin;s choti and sacred thread that are objected to — it is these symbols becoming the mwin issues to fight for, forgetting what these great religions stand for.

  2. Why not just lock women up in cages, that would be much the same effect?!. In fact, locking women in their houses has also been practiced in the past. And so far as reference to Mary, Mother of Jesus, is concerned, that was 2000+ years ago, and that clothing was the norm for that region, the fact that pictures of her are shown wearing the head dressing is really irrelevant.. On the other hand, head coverings have been worn in many parts of the world throughout the ages, for various reasons, mainly for protection from the elements, but were adopted by the Abrahamic religions as religious symbols, some nuns still wear them, but many don’t. Orthodox Christians and Jews still wear head coverings, and at least one ultro-Orthodox Jewish sect even has women covered from head to toe much the same as extreme Muslims. The world is constantly changing (not always for the better at that), and that applies to clothing too. Women are becoming more emanciated, and make their own decisions. We don ‘t need men to dictate what we should wear, and as yet I have never heard of a logical reason why women should have their hair hidden away. The Victorians were just as bad, women having to have their arms and legs covered, they even covered table legs for the same reason. Some even tried dressing animals so as to hide their genitals. Crazy! Just stick to modesty, that is rational. Everyone knows (or should know) the biological makeup of the sexes, it’s not a secret. And men need to control their impulses and behaviour, thankfully many do. Women are not there for servitude and other uses. They may have some different roles. but they are equal to men, a lesson yet to be learnt by many men.

  3. Although Hijab is desirable for women and its commandment is in the Holy Quran and wearing hijab is in the interest and safeguard of womenfolk, Still State is not Mullah or religious leader to impose hijab is not in the jurisdiction of the State.
    If women are asked to wear Hijab compulsorily, then why men are not required to wear cap all the times and cast their eyes down?
    Further there are still much more and bigger ailments in the Society, those are the responsibility of the State to address them, leaving them aside and emphasizing on Burqah is a futile effort. Further, whereas hijab is asked by the Holy Quran, Burqah particular has not been mentioned in the Holy Quran. Hijab may be encouraged but not enforced by the State. Zarif Ahmad

  4. Those who present a vague instruction about hijab in the Qur’an as an unchangeable word of God should remember the following. 1) This instruction comes with no implementation rules. So it is a personal choice. 2) At various times it has been interpreted differently by the supreme leaders of various sects in Islam according to circumstances. 3) All instructions of the Qur’an are open to different interpretations. Example: Hazrat Omar changed the rules of talaq (divorce) in the presence of clear process mentioned in the Qur’an and against the sunnah (practice) of the Prophet.
    Hijab, burqa, parda, whatever you want to call it, men have no authority to implement it, nor the State should interfere. It is a personal choice for the women.
    Moreover it is not the core of our religion. It is a peripheral issue. Men should focus on their own moral problems and the State has too many other issues to deal with.

  5. CS makes a lot of sense.

    Sometimes I hope and pray that he or she is not anonymous and out there in the open and take credit for his or her wisdom and sense of balance.

    Thanks a lot anyways!

  6. I am against women wear hijab—Hijab just for women ( Muslim, Jews and Christian ) who live in desert .

    Hijab, burqa, parda, whatever you want to call it, men have no authority to implement it, nor the State should interfere. It is a personal choice for the women.
    All ❤️

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