Ek Shaam, Taalim Ke Naam (an evening in the name of education), a facilitation program for students was organized by Mau Welfare Trust in Mau Nath Bhanjan last week. Many speakers address the large gathering on various topics at the large ground of Chitanpura Eidgah.
The mix gathering has large number of girl representation which was new to the city like Mau. Zeba Firdaus, a Research Scholar at Banaras Hindu University was among the speakers whose speech caused a furor in Mau city.
Zeba raised three important questions in her speech,
- If co-education is forbidden in Islam, why only girls are asked to abandon their education, why not boys? Why boys are sent to those schools where girls are also studying, Is Islam applicable to girls only?
- If evil spreads through mobile phone then what evil is that which spreads only through girls, not boys? Why boys are not stopped for using mobile phone and only girls are stopped?
- As soon as the girls want to come out of the house, their eyes also want to see through your looks inside the hijab. Can the girl not come out of the house even in hijab? Why boys are not asked to lower their gaze instead of questioning the girl’s clothes?
Now you can imagine what would have happened to that poor girl. Every street of Mau started to see the character assassination of this girl and she was abused at every corner of the city. People started the effort to make this girl so infamous that no one else should raise such questions further. No one did think it necessary to answer her questions, but instead began to ask why Zeba shared the stage with men? Why was she not covering her face (though Zeba was wearing the hijab)?
Some compared her with Taslima Nasreen and some questioned her modesty. This all episode was staged on behest of some political and social people of Mau city. The reason behind this is that this program was organized by Samajwadi leader Arshad Jamal (former Chairman), who might get political benefit in municipal elections.
Just frightened by this apprehension, Arshad Jamal’s opponents, in a planned way, made this girl Zeba a scapegoat for their political interest. The whole program was trolled with “Ek Shaam, Behayai Ke Naam’ (An evening in the name of Shamelessness).
Zeba questioned the evils of Muslim society, not Islam but it was presented in such a way that she attacked Islam itself.
This is not limited to Mau but its wide spread across the Indian subcontinent. Although this kind of behavior is not new in our country and especially in our community, we all see incidents related to women getting oppressed in our day today life. (Some progressive mind people do exist but we can count them on our fingers)
Our community leaders both religious and community are busy fighting on irrelevant issues. They do not come up with the strategies through which our community can come out of this whole frenzy. How can we move ahead if put our 50% population into virtual exile?
The world has advanced and it’s the demand of the hour that we should also move forward towards its call. This advancement cannot be achieved without taking our 50% population along the way. Advancement doesn’t always mean the westernization of our belief and culture but it refers to the inclusive growth of both the genders in terms of access to education, freedom of speech, choice of life etc.
The whole noise of ‘Islam is in jeopardy’, ‘Islam is being defamed’ needs to be reassessed. Islamic Sharia cannot be changed, that’s absolutely true but the customs, traditions do not enjoy this protection and should be re-evaluated within the context of present world.
The problem with the Muslim men is that women are now getting out of the realm of Muslim men. They themselves are trying to interpret the religion, society and that’s the only thing which is hitting the men most. Let women come out of their confine, some might fall but they will learn to walk, they will understand the good and the bad.
Now the Muslim men should stop becoming the God of women, reason being “Majazi Khuda” (Virtual God) is a Persian term and Islam came in Arabic language. This is a time to change the mindset instead of intention.