Home > 15th Aug 2009, Burqa, Islam, Muslim Women, Parda, Voter Id > Photo Voter Id and Burqa.

Photo Voter Id and Burqa.


These women, have passports, they work in a sofware company, they respect the law of the land but they honour there religion too. They are better Muslim Women than the Muslim women who do not wear burqa, in the eyes of Allah.

When Muslim, women can take photograph for Saudi Agama, and Indian Passport, why not for Voter Id.  

Muslim clerics have backed Supreme Court directive that Muslim women must be ready to shed their burqa to be photographed for electoral role verification if they wanted to cast their votes. The clerics have argued that Islam permitted women to be ‘clicked’ in exceptional circumstances.

Justifying the court’s observation, the clerics argued that electoral roll verification was not possible without revealing the face, which made it a “special need” for Muslim women to lift their burqa.

“I am totally with the Supreme Court order. When we have no objection to photos for passport for going to Haj, why should we object to this? This should not be made an emotional issue,” said Delhi Minority Commission Chairman and All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Kamal Faruqui.

Reacting to protest from certain quarters against the court ruling, Faruqui said he would make an attempt to convince the community of the need for photo voter IDs. “I am sure they will understand the importance of having it,” he added.Tt

Supporting this view, Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind secretary and spokesperson Abdul Hamid Nomani said Islam allowed Muslim women to show their face if there is specific need. “What will be the relevance of a photo I-card with burqa. This is not a general situation in which purdah is essential. Some people mix up the special situations with the general ones. Religion gives permission for it in need. This should not be projected as a religious issue,” Nomani said.

I happen to speak to few of the ladies who travel on international destinations rigorously, one of them a lady from India from Hyderabad who is serving in a foreign Airline in Gulf, when asked what would be her reaction to the SC Order on making it obligatory for the Muslim women to get photographed for Voter Id, in India.

She said “Why not, I am practicing Muslim women, my passport like any Muslim women’s passport carries my photograph, I do not have any problem with it.”

When asked there are protests on this issue by some, she politely replied, do these people know the Agama the Resident Permit of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since its inception has requested for photographs of women to be affixed on Agama. No Religious body in Saudi Arabia objected to it. “

We need to understand, our identity in any country is very important and our population is measured by the voter Id. This way we legitimatize our nationality and legal bonfire to our nation India.

Jamaat-e-Islami secretary Mujtaba Farooqi had this to say, “I think what the Supreme Court said is correct. Documents of the country’s citizens should be prepared and the provision of photo forms an essential part of such documents.” Farooqi maintained that even those who support purdah relax it for such necessary documents and Muslim seminaries have issued fatwa that photos of Muslim women can be taken if they are “need-based”.

The point of demand could be when the Muslim lady visits the both or the immigration officers, or security personnel’s there has to be lady staff to check the identity in the burqa to verify with the photographs on the voter id or the passports as the case may be.

The apex court on Friday had said, “If you do not want to be seen by members of the public, then do not go to vote.”  The observation came on a petition filed by M Ajmal Khan who opposed the Election Commission’s direction to get faces photographed for electoral roll verification. Since this would require Muslim women to show their faces to the election officers or poll agents, Khan had objected to the same practice being against the tenet of Islam.

The way the Honorable Judge reacted by saying “If you do not want to be seen by members of the public, then do not go to vote.” Is rather harsh, on an issue so sensitive to 200 million Muslims of India, greater care is needed in selection of words by the Judiciary of the Land.

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