A black cloth covers her entire body leaving but two holes and through them stare at you two vacant eyes, and one wonders, what is it that they are hiding from the rest of the world. No one would disagree when you say that the world is a mean place, with instances of murders and rapes taking place almost routinely, but is distancing yourself from the world really solving any problems. If one were to look at the world from the other side of the shroud, would the world be any different ? Is it to watch the world go around from inside a prison cell ? Today, it has become a part of the lives of quite a significant proportion of Islāmic believers to have the women of the family cover themselves from head to toe in black, before stepping out. We preach about equality, and about women’s rights, but as long as there are women who are not allowed to show their face in public, does all this make any sense ?
While mere rhetoric has never solved any problems in the world, it does raise a few eyebrows. If one is born and brought up believing that their customs are indeed right, who are we to criticise what the do or say ? If we are staunch believers in the right of freedom of an individual; isn’t wearing a face cloth, a freedom they must have ? As time passes, things which to some seem strange become a part of a routine, and routine chores are rarely questioned. The ancients started a trend which we merely follow, without questioning, because to not know an answer is apparently a crime, and to every crime there is a punishment. Blogs like these, and newspapers often highlight these issues, and sensitise these issues for these are the apparent institutions in our country which need changing, but for most people life will go on regardless; and the muslim woman who is covered in black sitting opposite me in the shared-auto stares vacantly into a distant horizon, just as I do.