“Rejection Because I choose to wear Niqab has been a fear. I didn’t know I will live like this” Ayesha Qayyum
Like every year, the entire nation observed the ‘Hijab Day’ on September 04 this year as well. It was an initiative taken by Jamaat – e –Islami in 2012, to manifest the honor and importance of the Hijab and to encourage those who opt to wear it against all the odds of this society. In short we, in Pakistan ‘Celebrate’ Hijab and give honor to Hijabis every year. But wait – is this enough? Associating a day with Hijab is enough to change the ridiculous mind-sets of this Western-Inspired society? Unfortunately, the answer is NO, it’s not helping Hijabis or Niqabi girls in any way. Here, let me share a story of a young Pakistani girl, who has faced the worst discrimination and bigotry based on her Hijab in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Famous Chain of Schools ‘The Educators’ rejected a young female teacher because she opts to wear a ‘Niqab’ during her lectures
Ayesha A Qayyum is a 25-years old young girl and an aspiring teacher from Pakistan. Recently, she made it to twitter to share her experience of how the Hijabi teachers are ‘welcomed’ by the elite institutions, and that was truly devastating. In a series of Tweets, Ayesha expressed how she got rejected from a job only because she chose to wear Niqab. This all happened when she got a call for an interview from a reputed institute to teach senior classes of 9th and 10th.
“The interview went well (but with hints from the principal that you need to be friendly and open with the students)” Ayesha said
After clearing her test, Ayesha was given a topic to prepare for a demo class in front of the principal.
“As soon as I walked inside for a demo, the principal stopped me and asked if I will continue wearing my Niqab in the class. I replied Yes, but I won’t let this Niqab become a barrier between me and my students, to which he replied ‘THIS IS A BARRIER“ she tweeted.
Ayesha said that the principal started stressing on giving demo without Niqab saying that for verbal communication your face should be open, students should be able to see your ‘ears’ etc.
“I tried to explain the sort of verbal communication he is demanding is required for younger students. Boys of 9th and 10th are big enough” Ayesha wrote
After this, the Principal of the school started arguing with Ayesha saying that the parents and school owner demands our teacher to be more open or they will complain that “Is she an English teacher or of Islamiat? “ The principal also said that other well-reputed schools also demand the same from their teachers.
“He kept giving such vague arguments for more than an hour. He, again and again, asked me to rethink my decision. Told me I was far the best candidate for the post but he can’t give the class because of My Niqab” she revealed.
Ayesha said that she replied to everything calmly but inside she felt like crying and was super upset. She revealed that this unfortunate incident happened to her at The Educators – the famous and renowned chain of schools in Pakistan, and she demand the authorities to take action against the branches conducting such kind of discrimination against teachers.
Social Discrimination against Hijabi Women:
After this thread went viral, people flocked on Ayesha’s Twitter to express their support and solidarity with her. Many other girls also came forward to reveal that they had been through similar kinds of ostracism and rejection in their workplaces due to their choice of taking Hijab.
Ironically, we have been through many stories of Pakistani girls in recent times, who have been terminated from their jobs for wearing slinky clothes or behaving too sultry or voluptuous at workplaces and these decisions were highly censured by latte-liberals and glossy-feminists. They criticized the organizations claiming that ‘EVERY’ woman must have the right to wear what she wants, and no one should be judged based on their dressing, but I guess the Hijabi women don’t fall into their ‘everywoman’ category whatsoever.
Either happened in France, India, or Pakistan, you will never hear these Human Rights Champions deploring the act of discrimination against a Hijabi girl. But why? Are they less of a woman or less of a human? Doesn’t they have the right to ‘wear what she wants’? Why isn’t any activist is beating its drum to get them justice? This girl also tagged many female politicians as well but every body seemed to turn a deaf ear to her plea.
We shouldn’t condemn France then, if they are pulling off Hijabs of Muslim women, because we are doing the same, just in a less vigorous manner. We are coaxing them to believe that Hijab or Niqab is becoming a hindrance between them and their bright future. Elite schools stress on taking stylish female teachers, private companies need models as workers, and you will rarely see any lady in Niqab at private hospitals or the airline of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. And yet we say that we honor Hijab donning women just by assigning a day with them? Height of Hypocrisy – Either we should take off the ‘Islamic Republic’ from our name or those elements which are making Muslim women feel uncomfortable on their land.