Malala has transformed from a brave young woman advocating for women’s education and fighting murderous jihadists to a publicity-hungry liberal who feels no shame in supporting the cause of religious fundamentalists.
The full bench of the Karnataka High Court has done well to calm nerves over the contentious hijab issue. But the issue will continue to create heat and dust as liberals back the more backward sections of the Muslim community. “We call on the state government and all other stakeholders to reopen educational institutions and allow students to return to class at the earliest. Pending consideration of all such petitions, we prohibit all students, regardless of religion or faith, from wearing saffron (Bhagwa) shawls, scarves, hijabs, religious or other flags in the classroom. class, until further notice,” Chief Justice Ritu Raj said. Awasthi, Judge Krishna S. Dixit and Judge JM Khazi said in their order.
Instead of supporting the Basavaraj Bommai government which has taken a progressive stance against a symbol and an instrument of female repression, i.e. the hijab, the liberals are speaking out against the restrictions on the hijab.
Let’s start with the biggest celebrity who has come out in favor of the hijab: Malala. In 2012, when she was 15, she had the courage to confront armed Taliban thugs. Surviving a deadly attack, she became an international figure, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Celebrity culture, however, has its own rules, which are written by rosy intellectuals and blindly internalized and zealously enforced by liberals. The rules are badly infected with dangerous postmodern doctrines, one of the most important of which is multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism places all cultures on the same moral footing, which means that Western societies where respect for individual liberty and human dignity is highest are equated with Third World societies where human rights are practically non-existent. The situation is actually worse: the self-hatred of Western intellectuals is so great that they regard their own culture and civilization as the worst in the world. So the hijab (and the burqa, chador, abaya) does not imply any moral misery of a society or culture, because the dogma is that all cultures are equally moral or immoral. Moral relativism is a brother of multiculturalism. Malala’s tweet should be seen in this context: “Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijab is horrifying. The objectification of women persists – to wear less or more. Indian leaders must end the marginalization of Muslim women.
I wonder if she even understands the meaning of “objectification,” another postmodern term. What stands out is Malala’s transmogrification – from a brave young girl advocating for women’s education and fighting murderous jihadists to a publicity-hungry liberal who feels no shame in supporting the cause of religious fundamentalists. In 2012, she said that “wearing a burqa is like walking inside a big fabric steering wheel with only a grid to see through and on hot days it’s like an oven”. She later said, “Living under the cloak seemed so unfair and uncomfortable. From an early age, I told my parents that no matter what other girls do, I would never cover my face like that. My face was my identity. Now Malala finds it “horrifying” that a school principal would want that identity revealed. No less hypocritical is the position of Indian women journalists and others who oppose restrictions on the hijab. One argues that the restrictions deprive “young women of education…There is no justification for closing the doors of education to girls. It’s appalling. The restrictions on the hijab are appalling, but the hijab is not. Another reporter wrote, “Are women wearing hijab a threat while yogis in constitutional offices proudly wear saffron (sic) robes. Her body, her agency, her choice.
Do Muslim girls and women make all their choices? Do they choose to drape their bodies by wearing finery such as the burqa and the abaya? Actress Swara Bhaskar said: “What is happening to these girls is unconstitutional and illegal.” Then there is nationally award-winning director Neeraj Ghaywan who believes hijab restrictions are “modern day apartheid”.
What these liberals refuse to recognize is that every organization – school, college, office, army, court – has rules that people associated with it must adhere to. For example, a Hindu soldier is not allowed to apply the tika to his forehead while on duty; and it is not a violation of his religious law. Likewise, a Muslim in the Indian Air Force cannot grow a beard. A Hindu will be a Hindu without a tika and a Muslim a Muslim without a beard; tika and beard are not essential elements of their respective religions. A Sikh soldier is allowed to grow a beard and wear a turban, because without a beard and turban he will not be a true Sikh; this is consistent with the essential practices test that the Supreme Court devised decades ago. However, says Major General Dhruv C. Katoch (retired), a Sikh soldier cannot wear a kirpan; and it is not a violation of his religious rights.
In short, liberals are needlessly fueling agitation against hijab restrictions. Almost transforming the hijab, symbol and instrument of misogyny, into a symbol of protest. They do not, however, defend the cause of freedom. Worse still, they equate the lack of freedom of choice with freedom. Orwellian indeed.