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Storm on social media as Pakistan’s religious minister proposes ban on Aurat March

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri called for a ban on Aurat March, proposing to declare March 8 as Hijab Day.

In a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the minister raised objections on the bold slogans of Aurat March, maintaining that they should be banned as it goes against Islam. Banners, placards, and slogans on the march depict social dissent and also opposed religious and cultural norms, he maintained.

Qadri termed inheritance, domestic violence, harassment in offices and workplaces as key issues of women saying they should be addressed instead of ‘western adopted agenda’.

Pakistan is an Islamic state and the majority of people wanted to live their lives according to socio-cultural values and such events ridiculed religious and social norms. Qadri added that such events caused great pain to the Muslims in the South Asian country.

Urging the premier to declare March 8 as International Hijab Day, the PTI minister said the international community should highlight discrimination against Muslim women in India and occupied Kashmir.

He called for solidarity on the state-level with Muslim women around the world who were fighting for their right to religious freedom. He raised the point as the ban on hijab in colleges in the southern Indian state triggered a major row amid growing concerns that oppression against Muslim symbols and practices are part of the Hindutva agenda.

Qadri’s proposal comes as marchers used a provocative approach in previous such events. In 2019, slogans and signs drew attention to the movement while participants also faced criticism as many opposed cultural disorientation.

Several religious organizations earlier organized their own walks to counter the liberal agenda, as they accuse marchers to promote ‘vulgarity under Western agenda’.

Meanwhile, Aurat March is releasing its manifesto on 18th February (tomorrow). In a post on social media, organizers urged users to use #AsalInsaaf to share their ‘ideas of justice’.

Women’s Day has been observed in the South Asian country for decades, yet slogans like Mera Jism Meri Marzi became extremely controversial.

Prior to slogans like my body, my choice, Azadi March on International Women’s Day used to be a low-key event, while these bold slogans other than feminism agenda made it a popular event.

Source: Daily Pakistan