After a day of interviews discussing the Marmite subject of the face veil, one topic that remained unquestioned or in need of attending is the matter of when we should ‘get involved’.
Some raised the concern about protecting women who are forced to wear the face veil due to family pressures. This is something many in Britain may have witnessed including myself. But having embarked upon the understanding of wearing the face veil myself due to a progressive understanding of why, I choose to highlight the misfortune of people acting on something they do not fully understand.
I remember the first few days I decided to start wearing the ‘niqaab’. I had a warmness in my heart as it represented an honourable act of worship that I could practice as an act of gratitude to my Lord.
Within a short space of time I soon learnt that others did not feel the same and this included other Muslims. Walking down the Road became a strong choice for me as I had comments and whispers hurled in my direction. However I was joyous to practice a part of my faith ‘because I chose to’, and sincerely felt that people should respect that as we have to with other things we may not feel comfortable with.
Fast forward a couple of years I began to learn that some niqaab’s did not share the same motivations as me in covering their face. Some were indeed told too and I can recall about 5 cases like that in the 5 years I’ve been practising. Whilst others came from different professional backgrounds and countries and impressed me with their determination to practise some which we can.
Its a shame some feel they can label the face veil as not obligatory, yet they do not examine the basis of ‘Islam’ in which people choose to wear the veil. Rather they highlight that their experiences should be enough to remove an act of worship that a FEW minority of Muslims wish to practise.
There is no doubt that where any form abuse is detected intervention is vital to protect the person from something they make clear they do not want. ‘Forced marriages’ is often an abuse which is tagged to Islam. But as society’s willingness to broaden and understand this topic evolves, so does our approach.
‘Freedom of Choice’ is about safeguarding humans from any compulsion, and if we do so we are as bad as those who force people to do what they don’t want to do. Not taking precaution as to how we protect people from things we consider not to be religious means you are talking away something from those that do based on one interpretation. Being Just is not something everyone is capable of which is why we should monitor who this responsibility is given to, safe guarding the humans ‘Freedom of Choice’