On the 16th of February 2020, the news outlet First Post discussed the dilemma of Niqab wearing women in the advent of compulsory mask wearing. The report states “Studies have shown that Muslim women are more likely to experience prejudice in public spaces, employment and other services, when they dress religiously. Over 80% of the women……said they experienced some form of abuse in public, such as hostile stares, comments, having the niqab ripped off or being physically injured.
The findings of the researcher who managed to interview 16 Niqab women have shown that face coverings in itself have no real relevance in terms of social cohesion and security but the agenda to label Islam and Muslim women in a negative light is the real agenda.
Science and logic can be made meaningful and relevant to serve any agenda that a ruling elite want. There is no such thing as sacred morals or permanent respect for human rights when political interests can be manipulated by who ever happens to be on power at that time.
It is a sad reality of so many innocent sisters that they are labelled criminals facing economic fines and being barred from social access when they are “expressing freedom of religion”. Liberal Democracy is not an eternal good protection all from dictatorship as it is capable of extremism and dictatorship in the hands of the powerful.
In the anniversary of the destruction of the Khilafah (Caliphate), we as an Ummah must fully reconcile with the misleading and false ideas that seek to divide and confuse us. The Niqab wearing sisters are not the dangerous ones in our community that harm the image of moderate Islam. Rather they are women that must be respected and honoured. Islam gives high status to women, even those that do not choose to be Muslim will have their personal beliefs protected.
(يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا)
“O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from this pair scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and reverence the wombs (that bore you); for Allah ever watches over you.” [4:1].
Without the Khilafah, the precious virtuous women that the Prophet (saw) spoke of have become the ridiculed and insulted members of society. We must stand in solidarity with them in these testing times where clear contradictions are seen as normal.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by