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Islamic Society ( 22 May 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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What the Muslim World Can Learn From India's Nikhat Zareen

 

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam

23 May 2022

Nikhat Zareen’s Great Feat Must Serve as a Template for Not Just Muslim Women but for All Women, Suppressed and Oppressed by Religion, Men and Gender Bias

Main Points:

1.    The problem with Islam is that here women themselves love to stay oppressed.

2.    Push women back to the kitchen is the Talibani dictum which must be resisted and resented by all women.

3.    May no Mullah issue a decree, calling boxing haram for a woman in Islam!

 

Nikhat Zareen

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For the unversed, Nikhat Zareen is an Indian amateur boxer, who recently won the gold medal at the 2022 IBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

Her great feat must serve as a template for not just Muslim women but for all women, suppressed and oppressed by religion, men and gender bias. At this juncture when Indian and sub-continental Muslim women are going back to wearing Burqa 'at will,' Nikhat's achievement in a predominantly masculine game should make them realize that it's time to toss away such sartorial religious totems and scriptural superstitions and assert their presence on a par with men.

Her grand success story underlines French existentialist and philosopher Simone De Beauvoir's famous statement in her book called the 'Second Sex', “One is not born a woman, but becomes one."

Had this gutsy young woman followed the primitive and antediluvian dictates of her religion and strangled the ripples of aspirations to become something in life, she would not have been able to reach the pedestal of excellence. If the cave-dwelling Talibanis have heard this news, they should think again as to why they're imposing so many restrictions on poor women of Afghanistan.

You may be aware that now even female newscasters shall have to wear a face-covering mask-type veil during the news-casting. Ask these mutton-headed clowns, if a woman wears this type of a masked veil, how'll she read the news? In fact, this is their way to remove women from all walks of life. Push them back to the kitchen is the Talibani dictum which must be resisted and resented by all women.

But the problem with Islam is that here women themselves love to stay oppressed and they encourage their men to issue such fatwas (edicts) so that they follow them in Toto and earn accolades from their patriarchal families and Muslim community. In recent times, many 'educated' and ' well-exposed ' Muslim young women suddenly became religious. So much so that a couple of Muslim actresses left acting to serve Allah and Islam. They've taken to veil as well just like the daughter of a very famous Muslim composer who was a Hindu until a couple of decades ago. This female proudly displays her veil and calls it her freedom of choice. The Somalian ex-Muslim, Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote in her explosive memoirs, ' Infidel: My Life, ' that ' Centuries of male oppression and religious suppression made Muslim women think that it's their inevitable and inexorable fate. Muslim women have forgotten to protest and they're living like appendages to men.' This is true to the last syllable. Muslim women must break free and come out of the religious vortex. All Muslim women must read and remember Kaifi Azmi's immortal lines:

 Zindagī Jehd Meñ Hai Sabr Ke Qaabū Meñ Nahīñ

Nabz-E-Hastī Kā Lahū Kāñpte Aañsū Meñ Nahīñ

Une Khulne Meñ Hai Nik.Hat ham-E-Gesū Meñ Nahīñ

Jannat Ik Aur Hai Jo Mard Ke Pahlū Meñ Nahīñ

Hope, Muslim women as well as women in general imbibe and internalize Kaifi's exhortations and carve a niche for themselves coming out of the grip of men and religion. Once again hearty compliments to Nikhat Zareen. May no Mullah issue a decree, calling boxing haram for a woman in Islam! You never know. I've kept my fingers crossed.

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An occasional columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. 

URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-society/muslim-world-india-nikhat-zareen-/d/127070

 

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