...

...

Search This Website

Loading...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Whither civil rights: Jewellers ban veiled women's entry, Adult lovers can't marry

'We are not just beard & burqa'
Meena, 36, a tribal woman and Peter, 38, a rickshaw puller, are in love but they can't marry. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad's local arm Dharm Sena doesn't allow them to marry.

After all, Meena, is a tribal, and the Sena feels it would lead to a tribal's conversion to Christianity. They applied for marriage at the Collector's office but  the permission has not been granted because the woman is not Christian.

Madhya Pradesh has BJP government in power and Assembly has passed a bill that will make such marriages even more difficult.

The Governor has sent the bill to President. Meena's brother Radhey refutes allegations of coercion. 'Peter is a daily wager and can't lure us with any money", he says. Isn't a peculiar situation that two adults, who are in love can't marry?

Check this Link

NO BURQAS IN OUR SHOWROOMS: JEWELLERS IN PUNE

Meanwhile, jewellers in Pune have banned entry of women wearing veil in their shops. The jewellers' association has taken the step after incidents of thefts. They have written to Home Minister for permission to put up a notice outside their shop that 'Veil-wearing customers would not be allowed'.

Maharashtra Minorities' Commission chairman Naseem Siddiqui says, 'We ask every community to condemn this decision. A woman has the right to wear anything she wants. She should be given the choice whether to wear a burqa or a jeans to shop,'.

'Today they are saying that burqa-clad women robbed a jewellery store, and stop veiled women from entering the shops. Tomorrow they will say burqa-clad women robbed a bank, so veiled women will not be allowed in banks too. This is not only absurd but dangerous too,' she said.

Many of us would call it xenophobic and see it as a serious breach of citizens' civil rights. Some would even appreciate the security concerns of jewellers. However, I see more such demands coming from different quarters in future.

With Hindus and Muslims living in separate areas in each City, denial of house to person of other community causing increasing ghettoisation, the gulf between communities has widened a lot in the recent decades [years].

Can you imagine a neighbourhood shopkeeper imposing such a ban? Yes, spic and span showrooms can surely afford that because of the feeling that Muslims don't go to such expensive showrooms where branded jewellery is sold.

Malls can also impose similar bans in future. After all, a burqa [like a bearded Muslim] would appear unfashionable [even grotesque] in such modern environment. This is one of the fall outs of 9/11 that has seen rise in prejudices.


This happened all over the world. Alas, this attitude towards Muslims and burqa in Europe would not affect much but surely it does hurt when it happens in India, a country where Islam is religion of the soil for over a thousand years.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This part about people in love but not being able to marry is truly crazy, no matter which community people belong to, as long as they are adult, they should be able to marry. The VHP / Bajrang Dal go too far sometimes.
About the jewllers incident, I am not so sure. I was reading another article which essentially traced this to some thefts and the in-store camera not being able to show how it was because of a veil. In fact, it should be even more distressing to the muslim community that a dress is used by criminals to commit a crime. Jewellers main business is to sell gold, and I am not sure whether they will take a decision to exclude potential customers so easily. I also read that this also applies to anybody who wears a veil, including traditional Hindu women who cover their faces.

ASIE said...

Adnan

I once again feel sorry for the way you have presented the post - a one sided view.

Yes its happening in a country where Islam has been for 1000 years, but its not happening because of a number - its happening because of a trend of burkha abuses. If the secrecy of burkha is a risk to a person's business, he is fully entitled to take a preventive step. From all the news reports I have seen, they are NOT demanding a ban on entry on burkha clad people (people- because there could be men thieves as well hidden in a burkha)- but demanding that such customers get their face recorded into the CCTV security camera's they have installed in their showrooms. If someone is reluctant to do so, he/she will not be allowed - And I dont think there is anything wrong with this.

Tell me - a burka clad person arriving at an immigration counter in any Islamic state anywhere in gulf - would that person be allowed into the country without the face being matched with the passport shown. If they do allow people inside - then now we know how underworld folks get in there so easily. If they dont' for obvious security reasons - then same logic applies to the jewellers.

Remember - the marwari or the bania or sunaar - is a businessman afterall and if they are taking a risk of loosing business to prevent a different erosion of their investment they are within their right to serve their business interest. Giving it the colour of a religion is unfair. AND for your info, there are huge multistorey jewellery showrooms in Usman Road, Chennai owned by Christian families (Prince and few others) which have this mandated few years ago. They probably were smarter not to ask the govt for permission and instead imposed this silently...

Finally - there was news of similar (love marriage) context in Kashmir too last year - a local muslim girl fell in love with an BSF guy - but the clergy and local people didnt allow the marriage. I didn't see you ridicule that incident...why now?
Coloured glasses I suppose...

I see you have comment moderation imposed now - so I am not sure if my open criticism of your bias will even showup in the blog finally. But I still will make a suggestion - think from the otherside's point of view too for once...

indscribe said...

ASIE
I was not aware of the Kashmir incident but I strongly oppose anybody who dares to stop adults in love from marrying.
I don't need to tell you but I stood firm with girls who were my friends/ relatives and married Hindu boys. Thanks for telling me about the Christian showroom owners who imposed a similar ban.

Mariam said...

Adnan,

Veiled Burqa is not even a requirement in Islam otherwise Muslim women had to cover their faces while performing Hajj.

Mariam said...

Veiled Burqa is not even a requirement in Islam otherwise Muslim women had to cover their faces while performing Hajj.

indscribe said...

of course, Mariam, but dignity of women is the issue here...considering all those wearing veil as suspects...

Mariam said...

At least we are agree on this that it’s cultural not Islamic ;).

You know if there is a technicality then criminals take advantage of it. See here and here. BTW what are your thoughts if some masked person (say s/he wears a mask due to some scars) come to your place of business wearing an overcoat. Won’t you be frightened as I know I will not let anyone like that near me?

What about the rights of a shopkeeper to safeguard his/her business? Demand for equal right is a tricky business and we need to find a middle ground.

P.S Love your blog especially posts related to Poets.

indscribe said...

See Maryam, I am absolutely not concerned what a woman wears, it's her decision. She might wear full hijab or swim suit, it's her decision.
However, if a woman covers herself--outo of her conviction--either cultural, social, religous or just because she feels it's her assertion of her femininity in her own way--I stand by that right.
The jewellers who imposed the ban can easily afford to keep a woman guard/security personnel to check or frisk a woman customer who is a suspect. They already have CCTV.
Meanwhile, they have apologised and taken their decision back. And thanks for liking my posts. Zarra Nawaazi ka shukria.

Anonymous said...

Indscribe said "The jewellers who imposed the ban can easily afford to keep a woman guard/security personnel to check or frisk a woman customer who is a suspect. They already have CCTV."


Adnan... thats exactly what they were demanding that the burkha clad visitors allow their face to be captured in the CCTV...

CCTV is of no use when you find in retrospect that the theif's face isnt visible. Not all shops can have live monitoring of all camera's...they tend to review the footage in case of an incident.

And they have of course withdrawn their request given that their concerns were given a religious overtone - even the media selectively reported their demand to the govt. - ignoring that the request was also about the Hindu women in viels...

I feel sorry for these shopkeepers who have been denied their right to protect their business interests...

BTW... awaiting a word of comment on the Darul Ifta fatwa's... declaring contraception unIslamic...I am sure you have a word to say to them....

indscribe said...

Darul Ifta Bhopal's fatwa:
The entire fatwa read that 'use of contraceptives is prohibited unless circumstances are compelling or medically needed.
It further says that in such a situation, etc etc
However, only the first part 'use of contraceptives is haraam' was taken up by channels/papers/agencies.
However, India is a democratic, secular nation and fatwa is an opinion. If a fatwa says that use of contraceptives is haraam and no matter what compulsion, you can'tuse them, even then I don't think it is binding. Neither most Muslims go by them. yeh niyat ka maamla hai...they do their job, people will do theirs
aur farmaiye, kya haalchaal haiN, baqrid ki mubarakbaad.

Mariam said...

Too bad Jewelers had to back off due some people's narrow mindedness. It's the people like them who give Muslims bad name. It's not possible to frisk someone then try to do business with.

I still can't get it these women can go to Saudi Arabia without veil but can't enter a shop without one. It's call hypocrisy.

Hmm, Speaking of Fatwas and Saudis

Here's another one.

Saudi Fatwa declaring all Shias Infidels

P.S. If you're wondering I was born into Sunni family.

indscribe said...

Who cares for such fatwas. These are just opinions based on their own interpretations often terribly biased.
These fatwas exist for over a millennia and whenever someone asks for opinion, the old fatwa is again dished out as 'tajdeed'.
Even Deobandis term Barelvis as non-Muslims and vice versa. Most sects have fatwas about other sects. Waise main bhi sunni hun :)

Mayuresh said...

Indscribe, the problem with fatwas is that they come from the clergy and when they do, more often than not, people follow them. I would love to see a lot of Muslims coming out strongly against the clerics issuing these stupid fatwas and against SIMI and their ilk, just as a lot of Hindus (some choose to call them psuedo-secular) often criticize the VHP and other similar bigots.

urdudaaN said...

"Too bad Jewelers had to back off due some people's narrow mindedness. It's the people like them who give Muslims bad name."

Just some borrowed adjectives rehearsed here!

Somehow the logic (if at all) goes like this:
If you are a MUSLIM and you:
1> react to a cartoon, you don't have appreciation for freedom of expression.
2> fight for you mother land, you are a terrorist.
3> fight for wearing clothes of your choice and you are a conservative.

Let me tell mariam about others' fatwas:
1> All muslims are terrorists.
2> Beef eating makes you a wild animal.
3> Madrasas are terrorist centres.
4> Muslims can't be trusted in matters of security.

Diganta said...

Though, I vehemently oppose Burqas, but I do not like this ban at all. By the way, the ban has been called off and I expected it to go that way.

urdudaaN said...

"this attitude towards Muslims and burqa in Europe would not affect me "

But, it does affect me, as I start anticipating the same action in my own country.

history_lover said...

Mariam a minority of scholars support Niqab so no it is not just a 'cultural thing'.
We need to keep in mind that islamic injunctions require we have a different attitude to life - We need to develop Taqwa in everything we do.We were created to worship Allah as per the Quran

history_lover said...

Mariam a minority of scholars support Niqab so no it is not just a 'cultural thing'.
We need to keep in mind that islamic injunctions require we have a different attitude to life - We need to develop Taqwa in everything we do.We were created to worship Allah as per the Quran

Mariam said...

Quran is a COMPLETE, PERFECT AND FULLY DETAILED BOOK: See 6:19.,38 and 114; 7:52; 17:12; 11:1; 41:3; 12:111, and 16:89. There is no mention of veil in it that’s why women from centuries perform Umra and Hajj unveiled.

I’m not questioning someone’s belief but if one is allowed to take off the veil to perform Hajj then they should take into consideration others people’s limitations too.

BTW, not one of the blogger has answered my question about why its OK to perform Umra and Hajj unveiled but insist to cover one’s face on religious ground (while there is nothing Quran to support it)? Then we all wonder why Non Muslims call us impossible.

Anonymous said...

About the adult lovers can't marry...see this one from

http://pakistaniat.com/2007/01/03/love-cut-nose-ear/

Makes me feel ashamed of being Muslim. Yes you will say that those who do this arent real followers of Islam - but then where are the real followers.

history_lover said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
history_lover said...

Mariam
Without turning this site into another debating ground of the perennial Niqab/Hijab debate,I would just like to add that some aalims (and not all)hold that women should wear Niqab.
I quote
"Suffice it to say, from an Islamic point-of-view, a woman who wears the full-face veil (niqab) is not automatically and inherently more pious than a woman who doesn't, any more than a man who grows a full beard is necessarily better than all those who have shorter ones…so let's put such facile thinking aside. However, there's no doubt, like it or not, that the face veil is not only a well-known symbol of Muslim piety, but it has a well-established place within classical Islamic jurisprudence as well. To the fair-minded and informed, it should be undeniable that pious Muslim women in the past have donned the veil out of a commendable sense of God-consciousness (taqwa) and modesty (haya')...and many of those who did so were mainstream Sufis and strict adherents to the four Sunni madhhabs (i.e. not extremists or "Wahabis")."

From http://www.mereislam.info/2006/11/face-veillets-be-honest.html.

The book- Reliance of the traveller which is a well respected manual of the Shafii madhab also supports the Niqab position based on the interpretation of the Quranic directive to the Prophet (SAW)'s wives (RA).
Clarification :
I am not suggesting that that every muslima should wear niqab.I am only arguing that wearing niqab is a valid islamic practice and must be respected by us fellow muslims.
As for detailed theological arguments for niqab and how they are derived from an interpretation of the Quran,consult a good fiqh book or ask any of the ulema a haq.

Mariam said...

Anonymous,

Go there and read the post again it has nothing to do with religion. If only girl's family is religious then they would've known that Islam allows adults to marry whom they please. That’s why during nikah both bride and groom had to say yes in a loud voice so everyone make sure they’ weren’t forced into this marriage and now their signatures are needed on a nikah nama not their parents.

It’s a shameful act and culprits need to be punished according to the assault laws.

Mariam said...

Anonymous,

Go there and read the post again it has nothing to do with religion. If only girl's family is religious then they would've known that Islam allows adults to marry whom they please. That’s why during nikah both bride and groom had to say yes in a loud voice so everyone make sure they weren’t forced into this marriage and now their signatures are needed on a nikah nama not their parents.

It’s a shameful act and culprits need to be punished according to the assault laws.

Mariam said...

History Lover,

This link might help you. BTW, feel free to quote Quran if I'm mistaken.

Few women like to wear veil, does it matter if religion doesn’t support it. Islam is one of the first religion which gave equal rights to a woman please don’t take it away.

urdudaaN said...

Lets stop this seemingly fruitless discussion and save Adnan's efforts.

Mariam, you are at your own will, so are others. But, please refrain from making sweeping remarks like "few women like to wear veil".

Below, I talk only on social grounds:

Is your insistence on women NOT wearing hijab any better than someone else insisting that you wear a hijab? Are you going to TOLERATE it? Mustn't insistence on either side be restricted, be it for or against.

Dress code during Hajj is not general dress code for Muslims culturally. If it were, we men would be wandering around clad in a white cloth too.

For all I know, you may not be a real Mariam.

But I know, it is human tendency to like extremism. Insisting that Muslims should not insist in their cultural capacity for anything is only the other end of extremism, which is a lesser known greater evil.

Mariam said...

My point is give a woman choice and if she rejects to follow one's rule then please do not call her unbeliever. Women don’t call men names if they don’t abide by certain rulers. In my view it’s criminal to force illiterate to follow the rules which are not written in Quran which a complete book. This is old ploy if some Muslim question senseless ways then call her/him Kafir. BTW, I’m not a Non Muslim. Maybe I’m too passionate when it comes to women suppression. I’ve seen families where young women are not allowed to go out without veil, unaccompanied, can’t be photographed and neither allowed to see TV as these all things were considered haram. Now isn’t this insane nothing was invented at that time. We no longer live in a tent and eat dates we have moved to nice and comfortable homes and take advantage of today’s technology but when it comes to women some wants us to live like a fourteen century. I wonder why and what happened to lower your gaze men. If every Muslim women is willingly wearing veil then what’s the problem? I’ve nothing against you or anyone who thinks wearing something make us more Muslim but I’ve a right to question it and say the truth when vast human kind are being fooled.

You said,
Dress code during Hajj is not general dress code for Muslims culturally.

That’s my whole point veil is a cultural thing not a Islamic.

You said,
If it were, we men would be wandering around clad in a white cloth too.

By choice, Men have adopted to the modern clothes so give women a choice too and by logic it couldn’t be conservative than the Hajj.

BTW, we are just talking into circles and it ain't worth it when there are more issues such as illiteracy which is highest among Muslim women and to some extent men, Infant mortality, widows and orphan welfare is still needed to be reached to decent marks. These all things are given superiority in our religion and we all should to work to improve it by engaging our women not putting them behind closed doors.

Thanks Adnan for tolerating us ;). You're a gem. I love your Aligarian site too. My family hailed from Dehli and few are still there but most are in Karachi. The way things are going between India and Pakistan maybe some day I’ll visit India and see where I come from.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The main hurdle for marriages between muslim boys and hindu girls is Polygamy,talaq etc. If UCC exists, the problem will be less. Who wants their sis/daughter getting into situations like that. We all know how much love may or may not remain after hormones subside. Fatwa may not matter to the educated few. But to others it matters. Burqa can be allowed but security checks should be allowed. Insisting on a lady doing check is asking these shops to go out of their way to accommodate a few customers. ads you mentioned most of these burqa clad women go to small shops. this would be unreasonable demand. Compromise has to be by both sides. What era is it? Can't show face? If her insecurity is seen justified, more justified is the insecurity of jewellers.

Aravind said...

My name is Aravind working as a software engineer and my family is orthodox Hindu family. recently
I have married a Muslim Girl(College Mate)In my first sight i lost my heart to my beautiful Angel) we have crossed many obstacles(especially from both families) and finally we succeed.
i don't want change my religion, and i also don't want to insist to change her religion. now my family accepts her. but her family didn't accept our decision. i hope they will accept us later
please encourage inter-religious marriage if both are loving each other truly and don't make communal.

Venkat said...

Arvind,

Congratulations on your marriage !....

But whatever you might say, I feel that it is good if the husband and wife belong to the same religion or both should decide to become atheist/agnostic.

This will be especially good for the children.In the Indian context, it is better if the woman converts. Conversions to Hinduism are performed by organizations like Arya Samaj etc.....

Otherwise , it is better if the husband converts.

Even after conversion, one can respect the other religions. In fact I feel that a person should try to learn useful information for books of all religions.....

Venkat said...

Arvind,

Congratulations on your marriage !....

But whatever you might say, I feel that it is good if the husband and wife belong to the same religion or both should decide to become atheist/agnostic.

This will be especially good for the children.In the Indian context, it is better if the woman converts. Conversions to Hinduism are performed by organizations like Arya Samaj etc.....

Otherwise , it is better if the husband converts.

Even after conversion, one can respect the other religions. In fact I feel that a person should try to learn useful information for books of all religions.....

Girish said...

@Mariam
I think you are one of the most intelligent muslima i have every come across (on internet). Your argument is very rational. I think pakistan women are more progressive compared to indian muslim women, probably because of lack of education.

S. Anis said...

This is completely unfair.. They can check veiled-women at the entrances and exits to reassure themselves of security or stolen jewellery, if they are so frightened. But banning them completely is undiginified to such Muslim women, which is definitely an abuse of Human rights. An end result would also be a definite loss to their business profit.

Unfortunately, some people who are not well-aware of Islamic rulings disseminate the wrong image about Islam. As opposed to the claims of such people, the veil worn by Muslim women comes from the wives of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and they were the best of women of all times to come. Even they didn't cover themselves in Hajj, but when other ale pilgrims were present in their vicinity, they dropped their veils as well.
I attended University, and attained a Master's Degree wearing the veil out of my own choice and free will to achieve the pleasure of Allah, The Almighty. Allah revealed the command to cover your beauty, from certain people, in the Quran. Now it depends whether you consider you consider your face beautiful or ugly. Intelligent people would realise that the face is the main attraction.
This life is just a test to see how much of Allah's rules we follow. And may Allah guide us all. Ameen