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Friday, March 11, 2005

HIJAB IS NOT APARTHEID

Of late, there has been going on a somewhat sharp public debate concerning Hijaab, that is the curtain or the veil that serves to screen Muslim women from the sight of male strangers. "Seclusion" and "Segregation" are also the terms being used in the same context. Hijaab has been dubbed as discrimination practised in the Muslim community against their women-folk. Some critics have gone as far as applying the obnoxious term apartheid to the institution of Hijaab in Islaam. This is a false allegation made with the ulterior motive of creating a rift in the Muslim family and society and to misrepresent Islaam as an agent of repression of women.

To put the record straight, it needs to be pointed out that apartheid in fact refers to the policy of rigid racial segregation enforced against all coloured people irrespective of their sex or creed. This notorious term received wide publicity on account of the ill doing of alien authorities in South Africa where things went to the extent of confining University education to white people alone and to have segregated congregations of the white and the coloured in the church too. There can be no such apartheid in Islaam.
Islaam has given and practised the concept of all human beings belonging to a single nation. Qur'aan Majeed says again and again that mankind is designed to be one nation:

Mankind was one single nation... 2:213

"Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later). " 10:19

"We made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other)... " 49:13

In these circumstances, how can there be apartheid directed by Islaam against any human being, let alone Muslim women, when it has given the concept of unity of the whole mankind, irrespective of sex, colour, birth, or geographical preferences.

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