Allegation #6: Why are women ‘harassed’ for purdah?

Social Media Critic: I would say the women harassing me for not wearing parda. And also showing up to my middle school to pull all the Ahmadi girls out of sex Ed.

Response: If any woman has harassed anyone, that is obviously wrong and not according to the teachings of Islam. We have a system in place to take care of issues. Not everyone is perfect and wherever something needs to be addressed, there are things in place to rectify that.

When it comes to Islamic norms like the purdah, they are coming from the Holy Quran, which is the Word of God. All Muslims try their best to follow the commandments of the Holy Quran. We, as a Jama’at, encourage everyone to follow the commandments. This includes the commandments to serve others, take care of one’s neighbors, offer Salat, observe purdah, and so on. There is no teaching in Islam to force others to comply with any of the commandments. Islam is not such a weak religion that it needs to force others into submission. The beauties of the commandments of Islam are self-evident. When a person obeys God, they are doing it for their own good. They are neither harming anyone nor benefiting anyone but themselves.

Regarding sex education, the Jama’at has made its stance clear and has stated openly that questions concerning such matters must be taught by parents, as they know their own children best. There was no mal intent or an active desire to harm anyone when the Jama’at decided that children at a young age should not be taught the detailed sex education curriculum. A core teaching in Islam is hayaa – modesty and shame. The Jama’at only wanted to protect young minds from learning something that can lead them into a life of sin and mental health challenges. If children have questions about sex, their relationship with their parents should be such that they feel free to ask them in a private setting. Furthermore, when children are told to do something, most of it may appear to be “forced”. If they are told to go to school even when they say they do not want to, it is a form of force but no one objects to it. If a child says that they were “harassed” by being told to go to school, no one would see that as a genuine objection. This is because they are being told to do something good, healthy and beneficial for their whole life. In the same way, when a few days of school or a few classes were skipped by some Ahmadi Muslim students, it was meant to be beneficial for their whole lives. Some students may have felt that they were forced but that was not a true form of force. Parents make decisions for their children all the time. It is for their own good. There was nothing sinister planned.

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