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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 2 Nov 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Trash The Girls: How Long Will We Continue To Be Held Hostage To The Whims Of Thugs


By Kamal Siddiqi

November 1, 2015

We are told that activists of the Islami Jamiat Talba (IJT) attacked some girls at Karachi University for the crime of playing cricket on the university campus while they were waiting for their transport to take them home.

KU Student Advisor Prof Dr Ansar Rizvi told the media that he “rushed to the spot” along with KU Security Advisor Dr Muhammad Zubair and shifted one student to the varsity clinic for first aid after the clash.

He said the students, who were from different departments, were playing cricket near the van stop along with their male classmates. The IJT workers showed up and demanded that they stop. The boys then questioned the identity of the IJT workers, leading to an exchange of heated words.

“They beat up the boys who argued with them and injured one of them,” Prof Rizvi said, adding, “We rushed the injured boy to the varsity clinic where he disclosed that some girls were also injured in this attack. It was then that the advisor rushed back to the spot with an ambulance and asked the mob that had gathered about the girls.

In the meanwhile, Sindh Rangers Major Ali, along with his team, reached the place and took the four IJT workers in his custody. However, the arrested workers were released by the Rangers after half an hour.

This is not the first time that the IJT has tried to bully and harass students at different campuses. Who can forget how acid was thrown on female students who dared to come to campus wearing sleeveless clothes in the 80’s and 90’s.

Student groups, whether the IJT or the APMSO, or the PSF or others on different campuses across the country have bullied, harassed and dared the university administrations time and again. Teachers have been kidnapped, students have been held hostage by different student groups. And yet the university administration as well as the Rangers, have repeatedly left them off the hook.

Now compare this with another decision taken by the University of Karachi (KU) which cancelled the admission of a student of Public Administration department, accusing him of ‘damaging’ the prestige and reputation of the institution.

Although the university did not mention the reason which led to the rustication of student, it was told that Araib Khan was expelled for inviting model Ayyan Ali to the university. The registrar of university, Dr. Moazzam Ali Khan, issued a notification in this regard.

Spokesperson for the university, M Farooq, said that the administration had earlier issued a show cause notice to Araib Khan but he failed to submit a satisfactory reply after which the decision was taken to cancel his admission.

He further informed that university has banned the entry of a former student Abdullah Rizwan Shaikh on university premises, since he was also found guilty of damaging the institution’s reputation. Both the students will not be allowed to take admissions in any course or department of KU in future.

There was much talk on social media and news channels when photos of supermodel and singer Ayyan Ali emerged after her visit to the Department of Public Administration.

As the chief guest, she was invited to inaugurate a fast food joint, a venture of Araib Khan and Abdullah Rizwan Sheikh, students of the DPA, who intended to donate a certain part of the revenue generated to the disabled.

Khan completed his Master’s in Public Administration from KU with a grade-point average of 3.56. He was enrolled in a diploma programme in supply chain management when he was expelled.

Khan shed some light on his campaign for which he had invited a series of celebrities as guest speakers. ‘Chips and Dips’ was a venture that he started with his friends to support disabled persons. They sought the department’s permission to carry out their campaign in the department and raise money for the cause, he said.

One cannot understand the double standards of the university. Those who use force are let off while those who make a mistake in the eyes of the administration are punished.

How long will we continue to be held hostage to the whims of thugs who pose as student groups? Instead of letting them off, the students who attacked the girls playing cricket should have been rusticated and FIRs registered against them.

Kamal Siddiqi is Editor of The Express Tribune