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Old Wednesday, June 13, 2007
DuuA DuuA is offline
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There’s a lot more to change in system than to veil all women in the world. There is one phenomenon that is bound to occur in all societies no matter how hardline or timid approach they tend to have. We call it “Social Change”. No matter how much one put in force to stop the change to occur it is inevitable. Our rhetoric won’t bring that natural process to a halt.

Now coming to the hijab debate, as far as it is concerned in Europe, there is one thing we call integration. But the definition of this integration varies as we have seen in contemporary times. Although European countries are always clamoring for this integration yet they have their own standards of integration. They need to be clearer about this integration concept. On one hand, they want all the cultures residing in their territories to retain their identities and yet become part of their culture with reconciliation. Ok this is something which can be settled through discussions and elevating the tolerance level. But on the other hand, they want their countries to become a melting pot with a new culture where nothing is distinguishable, place characterized by the intermixing of several races or culture. This is something implicit and they never spoke of it in public but it can be felt by studying their policies closely. Well, I say if this is their level of integration, then they should be honest about it and delineate it in clear and crisp terms. It’s not something offensive. They should define the level of integration and declare that beyond that particular limit they won’t accept any infringement or intrusion. That’s pretty fair! At least it is much better than being a hypocrite.

Coming to the Muslim community settled in those parts of the world, I wonder why they want to have the cake and eat it too. They are enjoying those green pastures. Though they are clamoring about discrimination yet they are not willing to leave that so called panopticon. Nobody forced them to leave their own country. If the governments of those countries do not want them to practice Islam what are they waiting for? If these countries find hijab pretty offensive, there’s no big deal. And honestly that’s pretty fair too. Do you like their culture? What if foreigners start wearing their cocktail, sheath or low-cut dresses, would you tolerate that thing? Answer is big no. This is a vivid example of ethnocentrism.

So either increase your tolerance level [though a limit should be there for everything, either in East or West]! Or be honest you don’t want that particular thing in your country [this piece is for West]!

So next time a woman who faces some problem regarding Hijab in West should leave that country, if she cannot leave the Hijab. One cannot have the advantages of both alternatives. If practicing religion is one’s aim then why bothering staying in a country where one is stereotyped. After all that’s not your country.

Now to be more specific, if you are asking does Hijab create any problem with respect to employment, my answer is yes, it does. This is not an employee’s view. This is what an employer wants. Of course, you should maintain your limits and if you’re feeling that it concerns your norms and freedom then decision is all yours. But in any case, either one should leave job or Hijab is ones personal concern. And if you see that problem on a broader scale [on societal level] then there should be some room for Ijtehad. Consensus building by the notable scholars. There are certain things that can be and should be enhanced in accordance with the current times. I’m not talking about innovation. Veil is one such debate that should be taken undertaken by the intelligentsia. Criteria can be modified according to current requirements. I wonder how a female engineer could work under scorching sun with hijab or a female peasant could till the land with all hijab. [There might be some people wondering why after all woman needs to be an engineer or peasant. Stop wondering because this is reality and you simply cannot shroud it by saying that these professions are simply not meant for womenfolk. Either they are meant for them or not –that’s not a question now. They are working in such fields. That’s the reality. So be real].

Last but not the least, criterion of a true Muslim should not be judged by anyone but Allah. I can’t prove anyone wrong by simply stating that since I’m right you are wrong all along. That is striking stance of narrow-mindedness.
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