Hello Mr Smith...very Good Morning.I am writing to u and amagazine for the first time..Till the April this year, I was the reader of your Monthly. But not after the M.NRoy-Special Issue (April 2007). Where on page 29 I read "Khushwant Singh to the rescue of Tasleema Nasreen". You quoted and ardently supported Khushwant on his blindfold stand on Hijab(burqa or Veil) as well as Tasleema's hurting presence in the world's largest democracy-India. A humanist, at least, the radical one, should not and wouldn't do it. Supporting a blasphemous non Indian lady to dishonour 25 crore natives of your country and 1.3 billion people world over. You also raise a question on govt that when many Bangladeshis enter India for employment, they even get ration cards, but why not even permanent residence for Nasreen?The answer, to me, seems simply that the thousands, who might be entering India from a neighbouring country, are straight-forwardly concerned of two square meals of the day and nothing else, leave aside damaging the civilisation of the new state of domicile, or hurting its people in written or verbal form. They can’t even be imagined of desperate torturing behaviour, which is the case with Tasleema, Rushdi, Khushwant and their supporters.India is a democracy and it is also a eastern & oriental nation where the principles of unity in diversity are followed. We have a great tradition of co-dwelling without abusing others. Your stand goes against it, and diversifies the Unity India is. It is right that we give the freedom of speech and ex-pression, but, we also consider "your freedom ends where my nose begins". It is in-human to disturb and damage the peace of the humanity.Today Nasreen asks to discard Burqa and burn the same, tomorrow she would ask the same with our clothes, would then we let our daughters and sisters do it, as we might for the Hijab.Tasleema was also like our daughter, till she possessed, within her, hurting-emotions, but now she seems to be mad in her rage and noisy over her mis-conceptions about Purdah and modesty. We shouldn't be trapped in such a person's false words, never follow her without a rational judgement, but in fact as co-dweller-and-neighbourhood-feeling, correct her and instruct the truth to save her, here in this world as well as the here-after. But if we in our attempts to save her, choose a wrong path to oppose the majority that she has abused, even the rescue might be troubled, which again should not be done, until its through correct path. Khushwant wrote: "Segregation of women is a relic of the medieval past and should be discarded in the interest of Muslim communities...It is assumed that the matter concerns the Muslims only. This is not so, it concerns all of us, because Muslims are an integral part of our society." He is not right to call burqa segregation. It hurts us, to me, because it is very much like our attires, our faith and practice and I don’t think u believe that clothes are a segregation. do u? Furthermore, when he says it’s the matter that concerns all of us, because Muslims are an integral part of our society, I as an Integral part of this country and as a fellow Radical Humanist, ask u to ponder over the issue. Burqa is in fact a security, which I ask to be worn by my sisters and even invite other families to adopt it, including yours. Ask a lady who understands its significance when wearing it in the public she feels protected of the glaring eyes of men on her body, much as the Ozone protects the earth from Ultra Violet rays. Would then we let these eyeballs stare our women? I think women are valuable as human beings, they are precious like Gold. Just like the gold, which itself can not defend its loot, and is under the constant vulnerability of theft in the open, so are the women.Let both of them roam and rotate in the market place, they will be treated as the products, bought and sold, looted and damaged. As we hide gold under wrappers, keep the jewels and ornaments safe, so should be done with women, ensuring at least that they come out only on special occasions, similar very much with the gold which is taken out at certain times only, and is not tossed in the hands walking down the roads.You also mistook that "liberated Muslim women belonging to the rich and powerful elite in all countries, human right activists, intellectuals and sports women have discarded burqa with immunity. It is confined to illiterate and poor Muslim women in the name of religion. Why? "You seem be looking the world through a fixed and limited scope. Please look broader, study the world trends, the conversions in the Europe and American continents, see through a open mind and let your heart feel the reality, don’t shut eyes on the truth. Respected sir, the Outlook, weekly reported the fastest ever conversions in Islam in Germany. It said, the trends, if continue, then by 2046 the majority of the German population would be Muslim. And let me tell you also that, out of every 4 persons embracing Islam, 3 are women. Those very women who are the most liberated on this planet earth. Now what forcing them to increasingly buy Hijabs, in spite of the hardest Media cry against Islam? Take the example of the British journalist Yvonne Ridley, who was found by Islam on her return from so called ‘Taliban Terrorised AFGHANISTAN’. Take Maryam Jameela, the famous writer in Urdu as well as in English, who came under Islam from a Jewish-American Past. Also don’t forget Carol L. Anway, the author of ‘daughters of another Path’ who found Islam when her daughter Jodi Anway had already been practicing it firmly. There are hundreds like these everyday, the world over. Now tell me if they are either poor, un powerful, or either belonging to poor and developing nations?
Many of them are the best of the human rights activists, guided by Islam on every front of their career as well as their lives, because Islam is the best of the arts of living as it is the guide of the almighty, the creator of the human beings, and who knoweth the human better that the creator himself?
I mean no offence to you via this mail, nor any hurt, but it is simply a reader’s feedback, who tried to explain a bit of his though on you writings, provided you gave the email address in the magazine. I am sorry if my opinion clashed with yours and there is no compulsion of any kind that you must mark my words.
I terminate my letter here, with the hope that you would really think about the issues I discussed , with a considerable depth, with another outlook and hopefully, Insha Allah
You will be blessed with the reality and the eternal truth.