Like any forward thinking and progressive person I was also elated to know about the decision of the governments of France, Belgium and Italy to ban Burqa in their respective countries. The reason why I dislike Burqa is not only because I feel it to be an unjustified baggage forcibly imposed on my mothers and sisters from the Muslim community. I also dislike it because I sincerely doubt whether the great Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had at all issued any diktat, in the first place, by commanding the Muslim women to wear Burqa. From whatever I have read and learned about the great Prophet’s life and philosophy, he was a pragmatic person with a huge respect for women. And honestly I find it very difficult to accept that he issued any such command.
However, while I eagerly welcome the firm steps taken by the governments of the above mentioned European countries, I have also started feeling a bit uncomfortable about the possibility of certain negative developments. Few days back I read in news that a Muslim gentleman from Italy has said that since his wife can no more wear Burqa in public, therefore now he will not allow her to go out at all. And from now onwards she will remain confined within her home.
It was this news that left me quite nervous. We the progressive people (including the progressive members of the Islamic sect) might feel very jubilant that Burqa is getting banned in certain countries. But have we thought about the possible negative impacts that the Muslim women of those countries might have to face?
I am 100 per cent sure that are some Muslims in all these countries who will never be able to accept these ban on Burqa for their wives, daughters, sisters, etc. But at the same time they will be unable to defy the ban, as it is a government decision. So what will they do? They will put a complete “ban” on the “public life” of the women in their families, forcing the latter to sever all ties with the external world and lead the life of a detainee within the four walls of their respective homes.
I feel the governments banning Burqa in their countries must think about this possible outcome, and take suitable steps beforehand to prevent any such outcome.