Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Islamabad chapter leader Abdul Majeed Hazarvi has threated to strike at participants of this year’s Aurat March with ‘batons’ if government allowed the march to proceed.
The JUI-F held their own ‘Hijab March’ in Islamabad on Friday, in solidarity with Muslim women in India, where hijabs were recently banned in some schools. Some participants of the march wore burqas and hijabs while others carried flags and placard with slogans, as reported by the Tribune.
The JUI-F leader told the crowd that Aurat March spread ‘obscenity in the name of women’ rights.’ He further said warned that “If this march is brought out on March 8, we will stop it with batons.”
In reference to the recent controversy surrounding Muslim students in India wearing hijab, the leader said, ““Every day in India, houses are set on fire and Muslims are raped. This is the face of India. I want to ask human rights defenders, ‘are you blind?’ Muslim girls are being persecuted in India.”
Also speaking at the Hijab March, JUI-F MNA Shahida Akhtar Al called on the government and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to protect hijab. Another JUI-F MNA Alia Kamran praised Muskan, the Muslim student at the centre of India’s Hijab Row, saying, “I salute all my sisters, including Muskan Khan, who uphold wearing Hijab. Hijab is the pride and identity of women,”
On Thursday, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri sent a letter to Prime Minister Imran seeking a ban on the Aurat March which he termed an ‘affront to Islamic principles and social customs’.
This year’s Aurat March will be held under the banner of ‘Reimagining Justice’ or ‘Asal Insaaf’, calling for a structural revision of the state and society’s conception of justice. The march is scheduled to be held on March 8th, International Women’s Day.