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Why are Muslim women forced to wear Burqa?
Contrary to widely held belief, my understanding of Islam says, there is no theological justification whatsoever for wearing the Burqa or Hijab or Chador in Islam. From what I know, at best, there are sayings from the Islamic Prophet that insist that both sexes dress 'with modesty'. But the reality is different.

For example, women who choose to make the Islamic pilgrimage (Hajj) are pointedly forbidden to conceal their faces. The contention that facial concealment is a religious requirement in Islam is thus incorrect. In fact, wearing a veil or hijab is a jewish custom which the Islam supposedly adopted after coming into contact with the Jews.

One of the reasons the veil was brought into vogue was for saving the chastity of Muslim women but has it been effective? The answer is a clear 'No'. There are so many Muslim women who become unfortunate victims of crime against women - either by men outside their household or within. Though crime against women is not religion or community specific. It also takes also place among and within Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Jews.

Unfortunately, the veil is not able to protect weak or vulnerbale Muslim women as poverty and other circumstances often trigger their entry into prostitution. They also get trapped, in order to improve their lot, into marrying rich Sheikhs from Arab countries. Among Hindus and Sikhs, the 'pallu' does not protect women from crime against them by their men. I am only trying to point out that the 'use' and 'objective' of a veil has been politicized and abused.

Muslim men force Muslim women to wear Hijab but do they follow all the customs mentioned in the Sharia? Such people might be in minority but they exist - just like Hindus and Sikhs who are hypocritical in behavior. Personally speaking, I have found, that as demanded by Sharia, most Muslims do not shave off their moustache and keep an untrimmed beard. They also do not pray five times a day. In fact, praying is sometimes not even part of their daily schedule among some Muslims. To give examples of Muslim public personalities Nawaz Sharif, General Musharraf, Asif Ali Zardari and other top leaders in Pakistan do not keep beards. Moreover, I have seen that top Muslim women like Sheikh Hasina, Khaleda Zia, late Begum Bhutto and many more never wore a Hijab. So why are poor Muslim women forced to wear Hijab by their husbands? Surely, this requires deep thinking.


Also Read: Zuhaib Ahmad's response to this article "RESPONSE: Islamic veil in the light of Qur'an and Sunnah"

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Amin Ali
I second Mr. Naqvi's thought. Mr. Bedi, you are a senior person. Please think of what you are writing because there are a lot of sentiments you may end up hurting. Also, as Dr. Tripathi also said in one of the previous comments - please refrain from personal views. You may BELIEVE that muslim women are oppressed and burqa is one of the reason for it - but then its ONLY your BELIEF till you are validating it with research reports, survey findings or quotes or incidents. Its a free world - even if merinews doesn't publish your views somebody else will. But then, please be logical and elaborative in what you say. To share a personal background - I am a muslim who do not keep beard for the simple reason I do not like it. My father kept beard after he crossed 50s and started having a religious inclination of mind. My sister doesnt wear a burqa but wears a hizaab in religious gatherings or on special occassions. My mother wears a burqa whenever we visit our native place in Andhra Pradesh. Neither me nor my father have ever asked my mom or sister to behave the way they do. They do it because they want to. You may call it peer pressure, society pressure or you may call it their inclination to follow what they have been taught. I know of Hindu ladies who will fast for 9 days in navratri. I dont think I can generalise and say Hindu women are oppressed and not given food by their husband, isn't it? So, please get an alround view, omit your personal bias and then write on a public platform.
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