MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi reveals what she feels behind veil
SAMAA TV anchor Kiran Naz has donned a full hijab during a segment of her show 7 Se 8 to drive home the point that hijab never hindered women participation nor it rendered them “abnormal.” The segment focuses on a comment by Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy who had claimed that women students at Pakistani universities were no longer “normal” because they wore hijab.
Naz opened her show without a face covering and recounted how Hoodbhoy, whom she described as a scientist and mathematician, had served the country by spending four decades of his life teaching at the Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. Yet he often came under criticism for his statements, Naz said adding that this time Hoodbhoy has made another statement that has caused “an uproar in the entire country.”
Naz then played a video clip showing Hoodbhoy talking to another Pakistani TV channel, News One. He says when he started teaching in 1973 rarely any young woman with a hijab was seen at the campus, but now hijabs and burkas were everywhere. “A normal girl would be seen only once in a blue moon,” Hoodbhoy says.
The professor then adds that when burka-clad women sat in classrooms they would barely participate in the class activities. “To the extent that you don’t know whether they are present in the classroom or not,” he said.
The clip ends and Naz says that she did not know what exactly Hoodbhoy meant but she believes the hijab is part of Pakistan’s Islamic culture and she was proud of it. “I don’t wear hijab myself but I cannot label hijab-wearing people as abnormal,” she said.
Naz then announces that she would host the remainder of the show wearing a full hijab.
On camera, she first puts on a black bonnet concealing her forehead and then a hijab that covers her face as well as shoulders.
“Hijab wearing womenare normal in the exact same way as those not wearing hijab,” she speaks.
She said her words or thoughts were not going to change underthe hijab that she had just put on.
The 7 se 8 host said the same held true for many other women including commercial pilot Captain Shahnaz Laghari – the first woman to fly an aircraft wearing a complete hijab – a Faisalabad University students who won 18 medals last year, and Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, one of the most outspoken MPAs in the Sindh Assembly.
MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, Educationist Dr Salma, and Dr Moiz Hussain from the Institute of Mind Sciences appeared on the show through a video link.
Nusrat Sehar Abbasi has recently undergone a major lifestyle change and started wearing a complete hijab.
Speaking on the 7 se 8, she said she was a living example of what hijab-wearing women could do. She said, it was true that many people wrongly believed hijabi women would not be able to actively pursue life goals but her example shows that the notion was entirely misleading.
Abbasi said she was the same vociferous person as before.
Dr Moiz Hussain said hijab or burka enforced discipline on the person wearing them and, thus, it enabled them to become extraordinary people.