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Monday, March 25, 2013

Do NOT Kill Islam in Our Hearts: Respect our Right But FULFILL AND SAFEGUARD It, Too!

Bismillaahi walhamdulillaah wassalaatu wassalaamu alaa Rasuulillaah
Assalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Baarakatuhu
As a voice amplifying muted voices from the marginalized citizenry, these were the salient points that we resonated:
1. We acknowledged and thanked the successful efforts done by lead convenor NCMF most especially by Commsr Edilwasif Baddiri and our HIJABISTS DESK CHIEFTAIN-LEGAL DEFENDER Atty Yaser Apion now with a “hotline”!;
2. We re-affirmed that the “hijaab struggle” started for almost two decades resolutely defended by the Federation of Muslim Students Association (FMSA) and it is thru the nurturing hands of FMSA and UZ thru the late President/CEO Archie Eustaquio where the liberating ground of thousands of MSA students’ piety was spawned;
3. Our humble voice resonate these students’ struggle to the right to religious freedom only in 2008 up to present initially upon appeal from an alumnus, Gamson T. Quijano, staunch defender of hijaab along with Alnajib Maujon in 2011 until we organized the HIJAAB-NIQAAB ADVOCACY NETWORK (HAN);
4. However, it was only in 2011 that we found the key to get engage and collaborate with NCMF through Commsr Edil Baddiri until we found our Hijabists Desk Legal Officer Atty Yaser Apion-from then on NCMF and its regional offices (Manila, Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga Peninsula and Cebu) have been our e-hub to redress grievances concerning right to religious freedom;
5. As we segue what the NCMF Sec Mehol Sadain said in his Opening Message, the object of the forum is NOT merely to influence but also to generate awareness which NCMF has successfully done when it convened relevant govt agencies and non-govt agencies today;
6. We reiterate his statement that hijaab is more than about fear of ALLAH in as much as it is a raiment of piety;
7. Thus, to infringe it is to strip our women of their taqwa unjustly;
8. We would like to believe that the infringement on hijaab-niqaab is committed by these agencies *NOT* out of spite or prejudice but it is merely out of ignorance just as Commsr Edil has said;
9. However, amidst circulation of pertinent memos and legal issuances: how come the very agencies (such as NBI for one) are defying the very memo that emanated from them? Their personnel mock and ridicule Muslim applicants in phototaking process about a non-existing memo- which is a shame and unforgivable too for personnel of the NBI to be ignorant that such memo is in existence. Such incidents have sown distrust and loss of faith from the youth and other Muslim stakeholders; they feel hopeless of ever receiving genuine redress from the government until the NCMF came in.
10. THUS, with all due respect and begging for his indulgence- we pose two relevant questions to the NCMF Secretary: “Apart from the resolute legal action and processes exhausted by Atty Yaser Apion (Baarakallaahu feehum), what proactive action can NCMF take against government agencies that flagrantly defy its own memo? If prohibition of hijaab-niqaab has reached Judge Estacio’s sala and a writ of preliminary injunction was issued and subsequently defied by UZ, what proactive step must we take to right a wrong? If there is impunity for those perpetrators who abduct our ustadzes without due process of law, it is deplorable that *identified* human rights violators shall go unpunished;
11. Aloud we recall the case of a UP student who committed suicide just because she was not allowed to take her examinations because of financial hardship; how then does her suicide relate to the violation of hijaab-niqaab? We reiterated text from a poster we created:
“Educators and institutions must not become an INSTRUMENT that drives “striving-to-be-pious” students to the brink of spiritual suicide” to unveil is to compel them to commit “spiritual suicide” by killing the life of their religious worship;
12. We recommend that HOLISTIC EDUCATION must lead us to the Summum Bonum which is IHSAN and closer to the ALPHA-OMEGA which is ALLAH; for what is the use of an education if it drives you away from the Beneficence and Mercy of ALLAH- the AL-Alim?
13. This matter is not to trifle with, as evidenced in the threshold impacted by the Pilar College issue albeit the wisdom is media* mileage in terms of promoting awareness of hijaab-niqaab because it is as serious as *endangering* our very peace and security as Muslims instead of *engendering* it;
14. Allowing Hijaab-Niqaab is not merely allowing female Muslims to cover their head; it must include the juyyubihinna excepting the face and hands; and at times excepting only the eyes such as in niqaab. CAVEAT: It is not safe to say that allowing the head veil ONLY but disallowing hijaab of the arms and legs such as in ADEZU is already not tantamount to prohibiting hijab per se because it still IS tantamount to exposing their awrah or private parts!”
15. Aware that our right to religious freedom as minority groups is not merely uphold by our local state laws but as well as international laws as entrenched in Art 8 UNDHR, Art 15 ICESCR and Art 27 of ICCPR; we implore the NCMF along with every Muslim present here please…whatever madhaab you may belong whether or not you believe in hijaab-niqaab…please whoever comes to you for help regarding its violation please do help them retain their raiment of taqwa;
16. TOGETHER let us assert to uphold THAT the right to hijaab-niqaab of our Muslim women, the right to religious freedom of Muslims is NOT ONLY about RESPECTING it, it is most importantly all about

♥ Alhamdulillaah...may ALLAH accept our humble endeavors and may ALLAH grant us guidance, piety, self-sufficiency, and contentment...ameen Ya Rabb. ♥

Baarakallaahu feekum wa jazaakumullaahu khayran to all those who joined and are still joining our humble striving to champion the Right to Worship ALLAH... aameen Ya Rabb ♥
— at Azenith Royale Hotel.