‘We cant permit Hijab in working space’- Muslim girl with Facebook sensation

You can’t wear ‘Hijab’ inside our campus. We have muslim staffs here and they are following the same rule.Hope it will be ok for you’

Fathima Zahra Bathool, a young Muslim woman, wasn’t aware of this ‘official rule’ until she received a call from the hospital, where she had got appointed as pft technician last week. But it didn’t take a minute for her to make up her mind and reply that she didn’t want this job.

Fathima, hails from Vazhakkad of Malappuram district in Kerala shared this incident through her Facebook which got viral and inspired from her post, a number of women later shared similar experiences they’ve faced on various occasions.

Fathima, in her post, criticizes the conservative standpoint of institutions which still disallows fundamental rights to wear what one person wants to wear and hypocritical views which strongly disowns hijab only because that it’s an Islamic attire and calls it as barbarian and Islamic slavery while they celebrate removal of hijab and wearing a bindi as progressive and individual right.

Translation of her Facebook post:

I got a lot of messages recently regarding my last facebook post where I mentioned about quitting a job because of hijab. In fact, I had experienced this in last January. I got an interview call from a ‘reputed’ hospital in Coimbatore on January 7th (7/1/2019). Me and my mother set out on 8th morning itself as they asked to reach there by 9th (9/1/2019) morning.

We stayed in a relatives home and went to hospital in the morning itself. They asked me to see HR manager at first. HOD ‘s interview followed. I was wearing a long red hijab. I didn’t actually noticed strange looks targetting my hijab in the panic of my first interview and I was organising things in my mind.

After that, I met medical director and he informed me that I’m appointed there. I didn’t have anything to as salary they offered was good and Coimbatore was familiar to me. So I returned from there with a lot of hope and slowly I started to groom myself for the change. At that time, on (12/1/2019), they called me once again for asking about arranging hostel facilities and all. In between that they randomly mentioned about the hijab thing to me.

You can’t wear ‘Hijab’ inside our campus. We have Muslim staffs here and they are following the same rule.Hope it will be ok for you’

I had a strange feeling inside. I said no without even rethinking it.

But, fathima you can use it outside the campus
right.Then what?’

I actually wanted to laugh when I heard this reply. ‘ I’m ready to work for you with this salary itself. But I’ve to wear my hijab’

‘Sorry, we can’t let you do that.It will become issue with rest of the muslim staff’s ‘

Then call someone else from your list. Thank you’ I replied.

This was the incident I mentioned. I got many messages through Instagram supporting and criticising me at the same time. In fact, I didn’t said that I’ll not do that job but If I’m doing it, there’ll be a scarf on my head. When I put a poll regarding it, 308 people supported me and 14 people opposed me. I mentioned a part of some replies in my Instagram story. In their opinion, Wearing hijab is slavery and an ill practice while wearing a bindi is progressive and the right of an individual. I respect whether they wear a bindi or a headscarf, but I just ask for my individual right to wear the headscarf, the very same right they use to remove the headscarf. They asked me to think about that in reverse. If a Muslim management hospital ever makes hijab as a compulsory attire, this individual freedom and constitutional right will not be discussed. Instead, the entire scenario will be changed and ISIS recruitment and terrorist, extremist will be discussed and scrutinized. My standpoint is this; I don’t need any position or a job which hurts or damages my identity. If you’re still obsessed with this and calling this as slavery or superstition and labelling me as a scapegoat, I’ve nothing to say. Just wishing all good to you!

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