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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Tragic Farce

They were furious. They were chanting slogans. They were swearing to crush the conspiracy being hatched against Islam. They were cursing the Western 'flawed' way of life. The rally was organised to condemn the banning of the burqa (full face veil) in France.

Paradoxically, hardly any of the protesters had actually read the text of the French enactment banning, from April, the full face veil. In countries like Pakistan, the nucleus of present Muslim extremism, where literacy is not more than 15 to 20 per cent and centuries old feudalism has been successfully forestalling education, who'd bother to find out and go through the text of the legislation?

The intellectual decline which has engulfed the Muslim world has thrown it into a dangerous state of denial. Everything that other, especially advanced countries, do is perceived and analysed in the light of 'conspiracy theories'. The majority of Muslims are suffering from a devastating persecution complex, which, in turn, is begetting and aggravating militant extremism. Such has been the reaction to the French burqa ban.

Every Muslim knows that wearing the burqa has never been irremissible in Islam. A considerable number of Islamic jurists do not support it. Millions of Muslim women, while reaping crops in agricultural fields, picking cotton in plantations of central Pakistan, handling herds in Central Asian pasturelands, teaching in universities, working in banks and elsewhere do not wear the burqa.

Billions of Muslim women have never, and will never, cover their faces while performing the pilgrimage to holy Mecca. They are not allowed by Islam to do so during pilgrimage.

In France, as elsewhere, only a handful of Muslim women cover their faces. Yet fanatics are making the French enactment an issue and presenting it as anti Islamic sentiment. The full face veil is being jumbled up with the hijab (head-covering). France has not prohibited covering of head. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia has made wearing of abaya (robes) mandatory for all women who visit that country or live there, irrespective of their religion.

This brings us to another issue being thrown into oblivion by protesting Muslims. Millions of Muslims have migrated to the developed world where 'flawed secular' values are at variance with Islamic, or so called Islamic, requirements. There are more than 50 Muslim countries, some of which (such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, Qatar) are fabulously wealthy. Why it is that not one of all these countries can accommodate Muslim immigrants?

Statistics are mind-blowing. According to 2009 figures, 365,000 Muslims have made Australia their home, 281,000 live in Belgium, 657,000 in Canada, 3,554,000 in France, 4,026,000 in Germany, 946,000 in Netherlands, 650,000 in Spain, 1,647,000 in UK, and 2,454,000 in USA.

Millions are ensconced in Italy, Greece, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria, Japan and New Zealand. Millions more are struggling to follow. There are long queues in front of the embassies of Western countries. Asylum seekers are setting ashore from boats and cargo vessels. Many manage to land with tourist visas and vanish.

Economics is not the only catalyst. The unemployed destitute and the affluent lucky-one are equally enthusiastic to reach these promised lands. The rule of law, democratic norms, equal opportunities, better education prospects, and religious, political and personal freedom attract them to these countries. None of these is available in their homelands.

A strange Kafalah (sponsorship) system is prevailing in oil rich Middle Eastern citadels of Islam. Every migrant worker needs, by law, a guarantor who must be a local citizen. The guarantor legally owns the business and all movable and immovable property of the migrant, and documents are held in his custody. Nothing belongs to the migrant, whether he is entrepreneur or employee, except his passport, which he must carry wherever he goes.

'When employers have near total control over migrants' ability to change jobs, and sometimes to leave the country, workers can get trapped in exploitative situations in which they are forced to work without wages, get beaten or face other abuse,' says a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.

Outrage over slights such as the burqa ban in France are a distraction from these more important issues. Look at the protests against this backdrop. Isn't it a farce? Albeit a tragic farce!


Anonymous said...

Well! Mr. Column writer. Some of your presentations may be correct. But where is the freedom of wearing dress which the West is very
vocal of like the freedom of speech?
I shall not mind if you are one of those scholars who do not believe in covering the face. Never mind, even Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani did
not believe in Jehad. People can have different
views on different matters.
Please, do not confuse this not covering the face at the time of pilgrimage. It is an order
of Haj only. This shows your poor knowledge about Islam.
There is no more Kafalat in Saudi Arabia. Make your knowledge up to date.

Kabir Wasti

Hashim Khan said...

Mr. Kabir wasti has made personal attacks but has not dared to touch the basic argument of the writer : Why don"t Muslims migrate to Muslim countries?
Instead of lamenting on illiteracy and backwardness in science and technology we keep on fighting on trivialities.This is the mindset which is destroying Muslims.
Mixing Mirza Qadyani's denial of jihad with the controversy of full face veil is again muddling the issues. Giants like Qarzavi and many noted Islamic scholars have not supported full face veil. The Saoodi scolars who are consulted by millins of Muslims through Arab News also term this issue as controversial.It has always been a controversial issue.
Kafalah system is still there in Saoodi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. We shall be thankful if Mr.Kabir has some evidence.
But suppose kafalah is no more there, can Muslims migrate to these Muslim countries like they are doing to Western countries?
Mr.Kabir should see the comments of locals in French and other newspapers when Muslims protest on issues like banning burqa. Their basic argument is : then why do you come to our countries??
In stead of realising the fact that Muslim immigrants are eating hmble pie in host countries because Muslim countries are backward, Mr. Kabir is wandering in side streets.
Hashim Khan , Defence Housing Authority Lahore

Anonymous said...

Why Muslims do not migrate to Muslim countries is a side issue and there is no need of
wasting time on it. One can go where ever one feels like depending upon hundred and
one reasons. We are neither the solicitors of Muslim countries nor of the West.
Every poor man has to eat the humble pie even in his own country. When French occupied
Arab lands they also heard the same slogan: Go back, why have you come here.

There are some highly ignorant persons who start considering themselves as Ulema e Deen
just because their knowledge of persian or Arabic is good. Who knew better Arabic than
'Abu Juhal' of Arabia and who knew better persian than Hassan bin Sabah of Iran or
Baha Ullah of Iran. Both are the fuel of 'Jahannam'. It is the same if some one knowing
good english starts claiming as a well read and an intellectual or a black Englishman.

Use of veil has been made a controversial affair. We shall not talk much about it.
We simply invite the column writer to sometimes come to the Dargah of Chura Shareef,
khiaban e Chura Shareef at Lahore and join our 'chadar' movement, if possible. We shall
be thankful to him. We both will learn something good from each other. If Allah can show
the right path to persons like Irshad Ahmed Haqqani, why not to Mr. Izharul Haq. He was
a much higher level column writer.
derweesh of Chura Shareef.

Fareeda Malik said...

Millions of Muslims are forced to migrate to non-Muslim countries and not a single Muslim country is developed and here are some people who call it a " side issue " and, instead of giving arguments , are inviting to visit their dargahs !. Iqbal has said
محکوم کو پیروں کی کرامات کا سودا
ہے بندئہ آزاد خود اک زندہ کرامات
گھر پیر کا بجلی کے چراغوں سے ہے روشن
ہم کو تو میسّر نہیں مٹّی کا دیا بھی

It is on record that peers and gaddee nasheens of Panjab, in pre-partition days, had submitted a joint petition to Queen of Britain requesting her never to leave India.
It is not a side issue. Not at all. Muslim countries are deprived of insaf ,justice and education. judicial system is not independent.Dynasties are ruling.Science and technology is in shambles and Muslims are forced to migrate to non-Muslim countries. Its a major issue.
Why dont these peers, instead of launching "chadar Movement" campaign for education of women. Millions of women are being deprived of their Islamic right of inheritence. They are physically beaten by husbands. Why not to launch a movement for their rights?
Fareeda Malik

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