I remember a few years ago, Ahmad used to work as a Cook at my mother’s place. Ahmad was great at churning out the best bryani, roti chanai and fish curries. He was an expert in roasting the whole lamb for the many dinners my mother hosted. He served tea during tea-time with scones that he baked and marmalades that he bottled himself. The vegetables supplier knew his penchant for selecting the freshest vegetables and knew the market prices for main items. No issues there.
Ahmad was a Pakistani.
He was the perfect Cook save lest for his ideology that the (then) President Benazir Bhutto should not become a President simply because she was a woman. “And a woman”, he ranted on, “in Islam should not and cannot be a leader”.
Huh? I was perplexed. This was a very confused guy. This was the very kind of guy that gives many Western world a wrong glimpse of the religion. With one clean sweep, Islam is labeled as narrow and prejudice.
There he was chopping the onions in the kitchen belonging to a woman who had salvaged him from poverty, gave him roof to live under, paid for the education of his children (he was a divorcee) and paid his salary which was more than a graduate on his first job.
In my humble experience dealing with so many people here that cut across so many races, ethnics, religions and cultural backgrounds, I soon realised that there are really, really insane people out there who declare they are religious and pious but in reality they have come to a point of confusion in what is the true teaching of the holy religion and their own intepretation.
I have observed that these are some of the things that will bring up a heated debate with these so called self professed Muslim religious people:
When a woman decides she needs to work
A woman who decides she needs to work because the household income cant support the entire family
When a woman becomes a Head of State
A married woman earning more than the husband
A woman who speaks more than one language
A woman who speaks well in more than one language
A woman who is aware of her sexuality (yeah, this is a bad one…)
A woman who knows her rights
When a woman who knows her rights made an informed decision
I have had enough listening from these people giving me unsolicited advices on how I should raise my daughter, or how I should (or should not) do in public and…what would be the most suitable job for me to do.
And I said to them…