This letter is about the proposal made by Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gilani whereby he made wearing of the hijab compulsory for women in colleges and giving of some extra marks, in attendance, for such girls. I fully endorse the proposal. I have failed to understand the arguments made by the oppositions and latter by the Punjab Government and certain section of the media. My hearts bleeds further when such debate is held near the auspicious day of 23rd March where Pakistan resolution, homeland for Muslims where they can live their lives according to the teaching of Islam, was approved by our forefathers.
If I remember correctly, there have always been extra marks for doing NCC or for Hafiz-e-Quran and special seats for sports in colleges. So it is nothing new that in order to encourage student to do good such incentives have always been there. We, as parents also follow the same theory. We promise gifts to our children for doing small good things /deeds in their daily life so that to inculcate in them good manners that will be beneficial for them in this life and hereafter. In the beginning, children do it for the perks but latter it becomes part of their life.
Let me give few reasons, the list is exhaustive, for Muslim women to wear the Hijab. Foremost to obey and hence please our Creator. Allah has instructed women to wear it as a means of fulfilling His commandment for modesty. Secondly, our sisters are taking stand against Female Exploitation, which is done by the corporate culture, whereby women are often used as mere objects to attract men or sell products and services. By wearing Hijab women are demanding self-respect from the public and declares that she be judged on her worth and not her appearance or her beauty or the lack thereof? By wearing Hijab, she is declaring that she is a devoted woman and hence not an object free for all.
I donot want to quote the statistics of the western culture where women exploitation in the society is becoming a menace; I also understand that mere Hijab cannot protect women from such atrocities but the chances will be reduced manifold. I am sure that stranger men will be more attracted to someone scantily dressed than the one who is fully covered.
I will urge the federal government to intervene and declare special marks and reserve seats in higher education institutes for all women wearing Hijab.
Umar Khalid Dar