No extraordinary news

The news is not big or extraordinary; it is a common one that the parents of a girl student of an English school in Assam, the management of which ordered her not to use headscarf, have moved the High Court against the management. The mother of the child, Mrs. Ali Ahmed wants the management to have elasticity in its dress code so that Muslim girl students might follow their Islamic values. She says that hers is a traditional Muslim family wherein hijab or scarf is a must for girls. On the other hand, the principal of the school Fr. Joseph Varghese’s argument is that the parents of girl students are briefed about the dress code at the time of admission and they agree to it in writing at the time of filling in the form; so there is no question of elasticity in the dress code (The Hindu, 18 April). This Catholic Mission school named Christo Jyoti is situated in Gola Ghat district of Upper Assam. According to Jyanta Kumar, counsel of Mrs. Ali Ahmed, it was the class teacher who on 21 March objected to the scarf of the girl, Fatima; then the management issued the notice and he filed a writ petition on behalf of Mrs. Ali Ahmed on 8 April.

Distinction of the community
The news is not extraordinary because Muslim girls have to face this difficulty in numerous educational institutions from time to time – somewhere lightly while at some other places in a rigid manner, sometimes with reference to the code devised by the management while somewhere else as a result of bias and narrow-mindedness. Adult girls face this difficulty in a somewhat intense way.  But they and their guardians face the situation anyhow. It has also been seen that sometimes parents of girls do not insist on hijab or scarf for the sake of education but girls themselves insist. The interesting aspect of the issue under discussion is that this child Fatima is only four years old and studies in Nursery and the parents of this little girl insist so much on the scarf of the girl that they moved the High Court and that too in Assam where troubles of sorts are being created for Muslims. And it is this distinction of the Islamic community which has kept it live with its identity. None can deny that a large section of Indian Muslims is non-practicing and a section of them also evil-doers. There is no moral evil that is not present in some section of Muslims or the other in some degree or the other, which is harming the Ummah greatly.

But it is also a fact
But it is also a fact that this Ummah as a whole is not willing to surrender its faith and Islamic values, nor had it been earlier. The bout of riots after the partition of India was no mere bout, then there were other trials to haunt them. Many trials are present even today; the biggest trial is the attempt to demonize the entire community by putting the label of terrorism on it. But this community is facing all these trials without any strong, effective and united leadership. – How great a boon the community can be for the country can be envisioned if the entire community turns practicing. Despite being a small news item, this news from Assam is very big in view of its content and represents the sense of honor and dignity of the Ummah. Reports of this kind do come, somewhere insistence of a youth to sport beard in some government or non-government offices, demand for facility for Salat within the provisions and somewhere refusal to take part in some haram and un-Islamic act. Ease-loving Muslims would not like such things, but those who want to live on this earth with their Islamic identity do understand the importance of such developments. 

25/04/13 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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