THE European countries never get tired of blowing the trumpet of protection of fundamental human rights but when it comes to the religious rights of Muslims, they totally take a discriminatory approach rather ‘U-Turn’ probably will be the most suitable lexeme for their conduct.
The Swiss government has now sent a draft law to parliament on Wednesday seeking to fine people who violate a national ban on face coverings up to 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,005) as it seeks to implement a “burqa ban” law.
In recent years, there has been an intense focus on hijab in Europe and several countries in the region including France, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Bulgaria have also fully or partially banned wearing face coverings in public.
This is nothing but a sheer violation of religious rights of Muslim women. A justification is given by the European countries that the ban on covering faces is aimed at ensuring public safety and order.
This indicates that burqa is being treated or considered by them as a symbol of Islamist radicalism which really reflects their lack of understanding about Islam. Wearing a veil has nothing to do with an extremist mindset.
If the Muslim women wear a hijab, they do so according to the teachings of Islam which instructs both men and women to dress modestly. The question is how wearing a hijab can harm anybody else or violates the rights of others.
Already Islamophobic incidents including attacks on Muslims are on the rise in many countries; hence, instead of exacerbating prejudices and hatred against Muslims, it will be better for European leaders to review their conduct and focus more on steps that bring communities and societies close to each other.
This is important for peace and stability in the world at large. In fact, Islamophobic incidents pose a threat to the European societies themselves.
Hence, interfaith dialogue should be organized at different levels to promote better understanding of each other. Responsibility also rests with the Muslim world to play their part in this regard.