Stories about burqa

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

When I was at university, the one person I would have difficulty saying ‘hi’ to on campus was a junior who kept her face hidden by a thick black veil. As is the case with cursory greetings in the passing, so much is gauged with facial expressions that I could never make out her response. Then, in my last year, a close friend made the decision to start wearing the niqab and subsequently almost completely dropped off the social radar. I felt her decision was extreme and unnecessary and I felt a lot of hostility towards the piece of ...

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Why I do not date in Pakistan

It was the first time I was visiting Karachi in my life as my family lives Ottawa. I had recently broken up with my girlfriend in Canada before coming to Pakistan, and when my cousins found out they insisted that I find a desi girl here since they are ‘sincere’ and ‘faithful.’ Despite my opposition and discomfort in ‘finding a girlfriend’ in an alien land, my cousin introduced me to a friend’s friend – Maheen*. My first interaction with this girl was through the cell phone, or text messages to be more precise. After this introduction, we didn’t talk till one fine day in ...

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In the commune: The French burqa ban

This week Syria banned the full face veil in unversities. France has also declared wearing a burqa or full veil illegal. The new laws have inspired support from some and been condemned by others. We asked Tribune bloggers whether or not the move is justified. Manal Shakir: I don’t believe this debate should be taken out of context. People need to keep things in perspective. A veil is a piece of cloth, just like a beard is just facial hair. It does not say Muslim or non-Muslim. It is a physical symbol which portrays what an individual may feel on the ...

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The great Burqa debate

Finally, French legislators have passed the bill banning the female veil in public, which covers the whole face and body. If passed by the Senate in September it will become a law. The breaking of this law will result in a fine and if men force their wives to wear full veils they will face up to one year in prison and a fine. As expected the proposed law has sparked ‘the great burqa debate’ among Muslim and non-Muslims circles all over again. Many Muslims, especially those living in France term it a violation of their basic civil rights. It ...

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Left-wing zealots

Of all the ancient adages, I have often considered the one by Descartes “I think, therefore I am” to be one of the most powerful definitions of human potential — but I am not so sure it applies in Pakistan. Most Pakistanis consider ‘critical thinking’ to be an unnecessary appendage to their existence. I have lost count of how many times I have heard so-called ‘educated’ people express pedantic opinions by completely disregarding the need to add any counterweight to their claims. Take Pakistan’s relationship with the US, many would not pause for a second before blaming the latter for all ...

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