Ban on Hijab and Muslims’ Response

(Lajja Laraib, Sialkot)

Muslims living in Europe for livelihood must stop protesting ban on burqa and, instead, follow the host country’s laws and regulations.

Muslim community is protesting against the Swiss government for banning hijab in the Switzerland’s Ticino region. The government enacted a law as a result of referendum that endorsed the ban on burqa, and enforced a fine of over $11,000 for those who violate the law and in the very first court trial it fined a Muslim convert and a businessman who protested the ban under the leadership of Nora Illi and Rachid Nekkaz who are prominent Muslim-rights campaigners. Earlier in Germany and France, and some other European countries, anti-Muslim protests had called for expelling the Muslims or “else conform to the rules of the land”.

Although, some countries, like Canada, have under the law given total liberty to Muslim and Sikh or other communities to freely practice their religions – so that they are easily identified and therefore respected – yet many other countries impress upon them to mix to the countries’ culture and social mainstream. There is a likelihood that this clash of civilizations would, on the later stages, result in violence amidst the already tense situation due to the fear of terrorism. Such a situation would resultantly damage the interests of third world Muslim countries whose economy largely depends upon the capital they send to their respective countries. Pakistani immigrants abroad and settlers in foreign countries send huge chunks of their income to their relatives through banks, and pay money transfer taxes to the government, which is major part of country’s economy. Any untoward situation due to Muslim community’s protests would harm Pakistan government’s interests and may result in the deportation of Pakistanis from foreign countries.

So it is advisable for especially Pakistanis not to make an issue of personal ego and instead observe chastity protection measures without going to show-off. In our own country, we are not observing the same as a whole, but it is partially and optionally being observed as a personal liberty. Good character demonstrated by the community would rather leave a far-reaching impact on others. Punctuality, law abiding, honesty and dedication to work are the characteristics which are required the most.

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