Sunday, 29 March 2015

IS it right to allow young girls to wear Hijab

Prophet Muhammed was a saviour of humanity who uplifted the status of women. Those who believe unequivocally in the compassion of Mohammad and his fair-mindedness will remind you he put an end to the Arab custom of burying female infants alive and made it known that whosoever has two daughters and struggles for their upbringing will be positioned to stand close to him on the day of judgement. How comforting to know that Muhammed gave a lasting legacy to Muslims on how they should treat young girls!

In a recent wedding I attended in Manchester, I saw a father sitting with four young daughters between the ages of four and ten and all wearing hijabs. Frequently I get to see facebook messages where little girls appear covered in hijabs and invariably a haadith is quoted as to the virtue of teaching about Islam to young minds. Sometimes the person who post the message ask you to share it to receive as many likes as possible. The message of these posts is clear: young minds are to be nurtured through religion and little girls must be taught that hijab gives her protection from the male gaze. In order to make it known why hijab is a necessity it has to be explained why segregation is allowed in Islam. Surely the content of the topic cannot be legitimized without touching on the topics which relate to sexual education.

By introducing concept of hijab on girls as young as six years are you not robbing them of their innocence? If hijab is to give protection to girls, then how come the rapes cases among young girls are not rarity in Muslim countries? In Britain and elsewhere in Europe the justification that Islam is essential for the freedom of Muslims is gaining strength. By turning the angle of the argument in favour of controlling girls and women, Islam will remain dominant. And my recent tweet highlighting the debate that young school girls under the age of ten should not be allowed to wear hijab proved so. The abuse I received was shocking not for its vile content but the obvious blind faith in believing hijab protects little girls. 

Let little girls explore, discover and enjoy the freedom of playing and doing whatever young boys do. Religion is restricting their freedom. Allow little boys and little girls to nourish their minds by forming friendships, playing in groups and sharing thoughts and ideas.

Hopefully parents, the media, community and social workers agree they have a duty to protect the freedom of young Muslim girls in Britain from the restrictions religion impose upon them. 

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