The Holy Qur’an calls on women to cover their heads from men other than their father, husband, sons, uncles, and nephews, in order to avoid the risk of untoward glances and exploitation that may lead to social corruption. According to the Holy Qur’an the society is not a site for displaying one’s beauty or physical aspects, rather it is a place for constructive work and activity. Therefore, men and women should work for the growth and progress of the community away from unhealthy sexual attractions. The Holy Qur’an says the removal of Hejab and outer garments at public places or among strangers provokes the carnal desires of men and ends in the corruption of society. Even non-Muslim experts believe that the root of many offences and crimes in different countries lies in the free, promiscuous and illicit relations between men and women. A decent garment that protects the chastity of women negates undesirable glances and makes the society immune from sexual corruption. This in turn leads to growth of talents and focus on the real capabilities and human dignity and dimensions of women. The decadence of the western society is a case point in this regard. In the west, women have been degraded in the name of freedom in order to serve the carnal desires of men. The result has been catastrophic as is evident in the spread of diseases, breakdown of family life, crime and unprincipled behavior. This has made conscientious western women understand the loss the liberal democratic society is suffering from moral corruption and lack of chastity.

The Hejab thus safeguards the dignity of Muslim women and makes them meaningful members of society. The Laic system of France, Germany and other countries has actually committed a big blunder by oppressing and discriminating against Muslim women, when it is quite clear that observation of Hejab does not transgress the rights of other members of the society. French Muslim thinker Professor Roger Garaudi considers the ban on Hejab for Muslim women in France at French schools and workplaces the result of the poisonous US-Zionist propaganda against Islam and says the so-called anti-terrorism campaign has turned into a pretext for undermining the principles of Islam. Under influence of this propaganda French officials have sought to encroach on the rights of Muslim women in society. Garaudi believes that the ban on Hejab is an undemocratic measure, since Hejab is an Islamic obligation and its observance by Muslim women creates no problem for others, whether socially or legally.

The Daily Le Monde in a recent editorial under the title Headscarf and Wisdom wrote: All indicators point that the law on banning Islamic Hejab in schools and workplaces is unenforceable and will not affect the desired targets. This law ignores the idea that schools are place for perfection and knowledge.

In view of these facts, it will be unwise for the French officials to continue their violation of the democratic right of Muslim women to wear the Hejab. A society cannot thrive without respect for the values of its citizens. France, by respecting the rights of Muslim women, will actually benefit from their positive and meaningful presence in society in view of their quest for knowledge and building of morally sound humanitarian values.

A planned French legislation to ban hijab in public schools has drawn a barrage of Muslim criticism worldwide, with British Muslims saying such laws are only issued by “authoritarian governments and not liberal democracies”.

The Muslim council of Britain, MCB, denounced the planned discriminatory law, saying such laws were expected from “authoritarian governments and not from a liberal democracy.”

MCB Secretary General Iqbal Sacranie said: “Banning hijab will send a strong signal throughout the Muslim world that the French government is intent on revisiting its dark and brutal days in North and West Africa. We hope this is not the case.”

He added: “This unjust ban should be revoked without delay as it represents a clear violation of the rights of the individual.”

The Muslim activist said the proposed ban is the latest example of “an institutionalized Islamophobia that is unfortunately taking root in several parts of Europe.

Sacranie said: “There is something absurd about the sight of the mighty French state trembling before a mere headscarf.”

Elsewhere, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, said the proposed ban would restrict the ability of French Muslims, Jews and Christians to freely exercise their religious beliefs.

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group said the move would also contravene the French constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a press release sent to IOL: “A nation cannot claim to uphold principles of liberty and equality while denying the religious rights of its citizens.”



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