Because I Veil? By Maria Choudry

Posted on January 1, 2015



Because I Veil?
Sensitivity and delicacy are two most valuable sentiments and elements of the female gender which make it unique and attractive enough. I can proclaim of the presence of these two attributes in women because I myself am a woman. I can observe, ponder and act in a ticklish and touchy way. And all due to such attributes a question has been adhered to my mind from a couple of months which is surely not based on mere false assumption rather painful experiences and now have turned into a hypothesis is what actually is the hidden mechanism working behind the biased and hypocrite behaviors of the people of this nation? Luckily, I move in a circle of companions of diverse cultures within this society who come from different strata’s and sects of life and therefor I have witnessed a lot of diversity of ideologies to behaviors and to habits. However what the most interestingly common things shared by these divergent people was their biased philosophies and hypocrite attitudes. Of all the opinions and beliefs shared by these intellectuals and liberals, the loudest and clear one was the respect, liberty and equal rights they have for the women. But when it is about some veiled woman like me, every single claim seems to disappear away like sand.
Oh yes, I am a niqabi women who chose to wear niqab in a Muslim society, which proclaims to be the most Islamic one of all those of its kind, where practicing this value of Islam is as weird as wearing track suit on formal party. Pakistani society is a backward, illiterate and non-flexible one and the women are most affected by it, especially women who are apparently different from the majority whom are entitled as ‘backward’ and I’m often honored by it. What hurts me the most is this title tagged to me by couple of genteel, educated and liberal minded people, who promulgate out loud the wide range of rights and a good enough amount of respect they have for this delicate creature, only because of the piece of cloth that I wear on my face and despite all the equal attributes and physical appearance I own just like all the other women, I’m dishonored, misjudged and taken as oppressed one. I am not as eagerly welcomed as the others in any part of the civilized and intellectual places rather softly and sometimes hardly rejected. It has been 3 years since I started covering my face properly and ever since then I have experienced numerous incidents of the humiliation and embarrassment not only from the discourse or conducts of people but also due to the totally unfair and untrue ideas attached with the notion of niqab and niqabi women. The niqabi women are taken as oppressed, uncivil and illiterate women who have nothing to do with modernism or sophistication, who are nothing but merely a product of orthodox ‘mullaism’. When I take a look around I see thousands of proves of the disregard of the society for me from the conduct of people to the conduct of media which leaves me to wonder is this malignant, degrading and judgmental approach towards me exists only because I veil? Do I need to change the meaning of ‘woman’ in my dictionary to get some respects and rights or is it them who need to work on their semantics to learn the original meaning of being ‘liberal’? But yes just like they all have declarations and proclaims of their own I also have an announcement to make, I do not possess a stone in my chest instead of a heart full of emotions nor do I possess a peanut in my head instead of a brain I’m a perfect women with intensity of emotions and a sharp mind just like those of my kind.
Maria Choudry