Scarf Is a Very Visible Religious Marker!
From France to Singapore and many other countries, Muslim women are victims of their religious choices.
They are living in a time of gross violations of their religious symbols and their personal choices.
Muslim officials in a certain number of countries are also behind this attack against Muslim women.
In Singapore, the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli says the scarf worn by Muslim women ‘Is a Very Visible Religious Marker!’
He says it in a tone that makes us believe it is worst than the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Singaporeans are taking him to the task. In a Facebook post, User Nadya Salyriana asks why is Mr Masagos the ‘Head of Malay Muslim Affairs’?
In her post, she tells the stories of ‘tudung’ (scarf) Malay-Muslim women who earned international acclaim.
She also listed the countries (with Muslim minorities) where Muslim women are respected or the civil servants are allowed to wear scarves.
Her questions are pertinent and the argument she develops exposes the weaknesses in what Masagos stated in Parliament.
Masagos made comments that have raised the ire of many among Singaporean Malays and Muslims.
“Allowing tudungs will raise a very visible religious marker that identifies every tudung-wearing female nurse or uniform officer as a Muslim. This has significant implications,” Masagos said.
“We don’t want patients to prefer or not prefer to be served by a Muslim nurse, nor do we want people to think that public security is being enforced by a Muslim or non-Muslim officer.”
For many Muslims, the comments are suggesting women wearing scarves in civil service uniforms are creating a dangerous situation.
Some are calling him ‘pak turut’ which is used for people who only follow orders, meaning to say he is only saying what his ‘masters’ asked to say.
He was responding to an MP Faisal Manap (WP-Aljunied) who asked why the government does not allow Muslim nurses to wear the tudung as part of their uniform.
Mr Faisal had raised the issue during his Budget debate speech on Feb 24.
According to him, the rule barring Muslim women from wearing the headscarf with their uniform has deterred some from taking up nursing.