Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri has written a letter to Prime Minister Imran, seeking a ban on the Aurat March that is to be held on March 8, while terming the event an ‘affront to Islamic principles and social customs’.
In the letter, the Minister said that while on the surface, Aurat March is supposed to be about protecting the rights of women, the types of placards and slogans expressed at this event convey that the problem is not a human rights issue, but rather imply that ‘the problem is one with the system given by Islam.’
He goes on to offer the prime minister advice to ban Aurat March or any other group which ‘ridicules, diminishes or minimizes Islamic laws, social mores, decency, or purdah or hijab.’ He said that these types of organizations and events cause pain and hurt to the Muslims of Pakistan.
In response to the Minister’s letter, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman remarked that the Minister was proposing to replace the Aurat March with an ‘International Hijab Day’, and asked “How is the right to wear a hijab under threat in Pakistan? Quite the opposite. He can celebrate hijab any day; one doesn’t exclude the other”.
Religious Affairs Minister has written a letter to the PM asking for an “Int’l hijab day” instead of Aurat March on Int’l Women’s Day. How is the right to wear a hijab under threat in Pakistan? Quite the opposite.He can celebrate hijab any day; one doesn’t exclude the other. pic.twitter.com/th8wq4mkZt
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) February 17, 2022
International Women’s Day is globally recognized as March 8th. The day aims to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women [and] marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”
Since 2013, World Hijab Day has been celebrated on February 1st in most countries across the world. The Day was founded by Bangladeshi-American Nazma Khan, who hoped the celebration would “counteract some of the controversies surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab.”