The Veil and a Woman’s identity.

Behind the Veil Painting by Richard Klingbeil

Behind the Veil Painting by Richard Klingbeil .

Two news items:

1- France voted last week to ban the full face veil (the niqab) from all public areas, citing it as a victory of Freedom and French values.|

2. Syria banned women wearing a full face veil from university campuses, both public and private citing concerns for its secular identity.

What’s ironical is that Syria is a Muslim country. This does not go well for the right to wear whatever clothes a person wants to wear and howsoever a person wants to practice their religion – values which are enshrined in the constitution of any country. People will argue that if a Muslim country has itself banned the veil then why the fuss over the French veil ban?

It appears that tolerance is fast disappearing from our societies. We need to respect the choices made by others. Just as any women has the right to wear a skirt, or a man bermudas, someone a sari, or another a corset, similarly any given women , irrespective of the fact whether she is a Muslim or a non Muslim also has the right to wear the veil if she wants to.

It is all about personal choice. If any male decides to wear a hat or a mask, I would not be creating a fuss over it so why should anyone make a fuss if a woman wears a veil. We are all entitled to our religious beliefs, aren’t we?

A human will not be evaluated in front of Allah on the basis of whether they wore a hijab  (scarf) or not, or whether they were enveiled or not? What really matters in the end is whether we were true and honest; whether we helped our fellow beings or not, whether we treated our parents, family and friends kindly etc. Then why is a veil suddenly so important and it’s banning is used as a symbol to indicate progress and secular values.

I am thoroughly against discrimination against scarf and veil wearing females. Can’t people see that they work, go to the gym , eat, sleep, have friends, like to socialize, get a better education, like dressing up etc. just like normal females do. They are not aliens and people should stop treating them like one.

Every human should be given the right to dress the way they want to. I don’t understand why governments and people try to hold back a woman from achieving her goals on the pretext of veil and hijab as well. Do you know that some young females of Iran, who are brilliant ice skaters, are not allowed to participate in the Olympics by their government, even though there is a very good chance that they will win? Can a woman who insists on wearing pants play for the Wimbledon? Can you wear the Muslim swim suit and participate in the Olympics? Isn’t this a wrong? Females should be given the right to excel and live their lives they want to, shouldn’t they?

For many years, it was impossible for women to swim competitively in Pakistan, a country with a 97 percent Muslim population, as traditional swimsuits were considered too revealing because they left women’s legs exposed. The Pakistani women swimmer wear a high-neck, vest-style suit that leaves their arms uncovered but covers their legs down to the ankle. In 1997, Pakistan’s government granted permission for the first female swimmers to compete in the Islamic Women’s Games in Tehran, Iran.

The scarf and the veil should not be determining factors woman’s success, and neither should it be used to base stereotypes and assumptions that a woman is submissive, backward or oppressed simply because of these items of clothing. A woman is what she is despite the scarf or the veil.

A woman’s identity is infact hampered when people impose their wishes on them, when they are forced to not study or work, when they are beaten up by insecure males; when males view them as sex objects; when they are FORCED to wear the veil or head scarf or FORCED to not wear it as well, when someone doesn’t promote her or give her a job because she wears a veil or presumes that she is dumb. When she cannot go to a university and restaurant because she wears a veil. Why can’t a woman live her life, just the way she wants? Do people realize that now many women can possibly live imprisoned lives in their homes, because their husbands or fathers forbid them to go out without the veil, which may be very likely owing to the penalties imposed in France and Syria?

To wear or not to wear a hijab is a very personal decision. If you truly intend to empower a woman, then you should NOT be ordering her anything. You should acknowledge HER decision whatever it may be and respect it. It is not everyone`s cup of tea to acknowledge the choices human beings make i.e. if these very people accept that a woman is too foremost a human being.


Second Chance


I think everyone deserves a second chance. Forgiveness is an exquisite trait. Not many people have it, some prefer sweet revenge.  But then  if a person has had bad experiences with the same person again and again, then as they say- once bitten, twice shy. There is no right answer. The answer differs from person to person.

Sometimes, second Chances should not be given, especially if they are third, fourth, fifth and sixth ‘second’ chances and especially if people don’t deserve them and portray it as a huge favour to your existence that you gave them a second chance.

But some second chances should be given, especially after you put yourself in another person’s shoes. What if you were the one who truly regretted your actions? What if you repented and resolved never to repeat the same mistake. What if you wanted to be forgiven, start afresh and try again? So, maybe, just maybe people do deserve a second chance.

If you do decide to give somebody a second chance then do so whole heartedly. But even the person who gets the gift of a second chance, needs to accept it with responsibility, because if you blow this second chance and take it for granted,  maybe this time there would be no room for mending or repair.