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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The cap of my boy is missing

In response to an article of mine recently published in the Australian “Eureka Street”, many readers and friends (including my nephew) have responded with emphasis on the niqab or burqa.  The central theme of the article has been completely ignored.

I must clarify here that the title of the article was originally “Tragic Farce” which was changed into “Islam in denial of burqa” by the journal.

The issue is not whether niqab is must or not. As my article states, full face veil has always been a controversial issue. But even if we agree that full face veil is mandatory, still the point raised in the article looms large in the foreground. But first let me narrate a story.

Akram was living in a big city and his friend Arshad was living in a village.  Arshad requested his friend Akran to accommodate his son in his house so that he could study and avail the facilities available in the city.  Akram allocated a room in his home for Arshad’s son and pointed out certain norms.  He would have to be back to the house before dusk and would have to take off his shoes outside the entrance.  After some time, the son started violating these norms and protested. The owner told him to either observe the norms of the house or leave.

Similar is the situation here. We protest against the French law, but we never discuss why Muslims had to go to France and other Western countries. The newspapers of Western countries were flooded by the comments of their readers in which they asked the Muslims to go back to their own countries. What sort of dignity and self-respect we Muslims have, if any? Ok niqab is mandatory but please think for a while why millions of Muslims have migrated to non-Muslim countries? Why can’t Muslim countries provide what these immigrants find in their new countries?

We do not realize that these countries are providing personal and religious freedom, educational facilities, democratic norms, security, self-respect and above all, rule of the law which the immigrants could not have in their own countries.

Why doesn’t Jamaat Islami and others who hold protesting rallies ask Muslim rulers to provide what the Western countries are providing immigrants? If we Muslims think that beggars have choice, we are mistaken. When we condemn host-countries, we are behaving like the naïve woman whose drowning son was rescued by a kind person, but she was condemning him because her son’s cap was missing.


Anonymous said...

Izhar Sahib, I agree with the central message of your article on the subject of face veil, niqab or burqa. In my opinion, the onus of this ideological conflict lies mainly with the Muslims who believe that a face veil is a religious mandate. The Quran certainly does not have any such requirement.
The confusion comes out of a large body of man-made Hadith literature, that often contradicts with the Quranic teachings and the spirit of its guidance.
The Mullah clans every where, including Pakistan’s Jamat Islami are the main groups to advance ideas borrowed from regional and cultural norms and mistakenly presenting them as the religious directives.
In order to take a neutral position in the argument, one can also add that France could have overlooked the practice of face veil when the number of users is a few thousand out of several millions of Muslims in that country. But, the point is quite valid, if the immigrants do not wish to give up certain meaningless cultural norms, they can always go to a country where those norms are readily and accommodated.


Anonymous said...

Izhar Sahib, I agree with the central theme of your article; which is much deeper than the "insignificant, never-ending, time-wasting, trivial" issue of Burqa or Niqab. You simply wanted to elaborate few points which are related to major issues, i.e.:
1. Life in general has become so unbearable in Islamic countries that their citizens are forced to leave their motherlands.
2. If you want to establish Islam with all its norms (including Burqa, niqab etc.), than improve the quality of life in Islamic countries.
3. Believe me, "might is always right", Muslims need to achieve "might" to prove them and their norms "right".
4. If you can't swim and save your drowning son, than don't ask his savior for his missing cap.

Dr. Kausar Jamal

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

Your take on the issue is appreciated everywhere, where Reason prevails.

Wahid Siraj

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