Thursday, March 1, 2007

My Reflection on Veil teacher "should be sacked"

Although there are various thoughts regarding veil in Islam, few Muslims believe women should cover their entire body including their faces. On the other hand, others think that it is not essential to cover the whole face. According to Quran, which is a holy book of Muslims, veil defends women from the lustful gaze of men. Allah (God) has said in the Quran that women must guard their modesty. “Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof (Quran:24.31).” In other words, the Quran does not suggest that women should be veiled or they should be kept apart from the world of men. One of the verses in the Quran protects a woman’s fundamental rights. Verse 59 of Surah Al-Ahzaab reads: “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments (veil) over their persons when outside so that they should be known as such and not molested.”

Muslim women must wear a veil when going out of their homes so that they may be acknowledged as “believing” women as stated by Quran. It distinguishes “believing women” from prostitutes. The intention of this verse is not to make women stay in their homes, but to make it secure for them to go out for their daily businesses without attracting lustful gaze of wicked men. In contrast, older Muslim women who are past the age of marriage are not required to wear the veil. “Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage, there is no blame on them if they lay aside their outer garments, provided they make not wanton display of their beauty; but it is best for them to be modest; and Allah is One Who sees and knows all things (24:60).” In short, the purpose of wearing a veil is modesty, and to protect against the wicked men. It is not a symbol of subjugation.

There are mix opinions about Muslim women wearing the veil in United Kingdom. It is a very controversial issue nowadays. Mrs. Azmi’s case has become center of attention in Britain relating to multi-cultures. Dewsbury’s MP named Shahid Malik who is Muslim, advised Mrs. Azmi to accept the tribunal’s decision because it is about teaching children while wearing veil in school and not about religion. Mr. Malik further said, “I would absolutely defend her right to wear the veil in society, it’s very clear that her wearing the veil in the classroom setting inhibits her ability to support children.” Whereas the other Muslim Council of Britain named Inayat Bugnlawala said that “Phills Whoola’s comments an outrageous and intervention from government.” The Prime Minister Tony Blair was requested for his view and he replied “full-face veil is a mark of separation that makes people of other ethnic back ground feel uncomfortable. This is an essential debate about the way Muslim community mix into British Society.”

I completely support the tribunal decision. Mrs. Azimi should take her veil off in classroom while she is teaching children because education should be the main concern in school. It is about schooling children aged nine to twelve and not about religion. The education authority’s decision is very logical that she should be dismissed. I must say that it makes sense and it is reasonable. Muslim women are NOT required to cover their face. Their outfits must cover up their whole body, but hands along with face may remain uncovered. There is no requirement at all for them to wear veil in front of children aged nine to twelve.

Mrs Azmi was appointed to assist children who needed assistance with language because English was not their first language. In her case, children were unable to understand her while she had her veil on. Consequently, I agree with Mr. Whoola that she has put herself in a condition where she cannot do her job. It will be hard for her to continue if she cannot do her job properly.

Another issue that I think is very important relates to men’s teaching rights. Basically, she is taking away their right to work in school by saying that she cannot take her veil off in front of male colleagues. In other words, she is going against men’s right to work in schools. Now, she is discriminating men. Therefore, Mr. Whoola made the best decision to dismiss her. Since after 9/11, Muslims are in a critical position in the entire world, I would suggest Mrs. Azmi to stay home if she cannot go outside without covering her face. As a Muslim, I already know that there are many misconceptions about Muslims’ ethics, and I would not want her to create another issue about Muslims’ women since it will bring fuel to set fire (terrorism). The other option is that if she cannot follow United Kingdom’s Laws then she should go back to her native land where she can practice her religion according to her own beliefs. I want to conclude by saying that we should all “LIVE AND LET LIVE.” We should live like a family in harmony with no violence and learn to adopt and adapt, especially nowadays with all these wars happening. It is necessary in order to survive in this atmosphere.


John Elfrank-Dana said...

Very good start. I look forward to reading more.

BETHANY said...

Outstanding my Sana Manana. lol. This deserves 100!

SPOON said...

Sana, after reading this blog, I gained a better understanding and learned the real meaning of the veil that I see fellow Islam classmates wear. Well, I always knew that it was religion-related, but I never realized what it was truly for: to protect women from the "lustful gaze" of men.

Clearly the United Kingdowm's government is discriminating against her religion and trying to cover it up with the students as an excuse.

Good job, Sana! I agree with bethany. This deserves a 100! =)

isla3629 said...

Thanks Bethany & Spoon. I'm glad that you guys liked it.