Let Zaira Wasim Be: Don’t Assume Muslim Women Need Saving

Allow young girls to talk about their faith without calling them ungrateful.

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2 min read

Video Editor: Mohammad Irshad Alam & Ashutosh Bhardwaj

When TMC MP Nusrat Jahan married a non-Muslim, walked into Parliament with vermilion on her forehead, we applauded her, called her inclusive, called it choice.

But when actress Zaira Wasim announced she is quitting the world of cinema saying that “her relationship with religion was threatened”, some people attacked her decision, calling her “ungrateful” “indoctrinated” and “without agency”.

Remember when she started acting? She was trolled then too, by certain groups in Kashmir. Where does all this stop? Why don't we respect Zaira’s choice? Does it have something to do with how we view Muslim women?

When we think of a Muslim woman, we think of someone who isn't educated beyond the literacy of her Arabic Quran. Even if we point out that most women in Muslim-dominated countries are studying in higher numbers than men or that most women wear hijab out of free will, it will be dismissed as lying statistics.

But why have we given ourselves the right to stand outside their seemingly transparent homes and take notes? Why are we calling them indoctrinated instead of believing them?

Let’s shed our egos off their Superman suits. Is not giving individuals basic respect, listening to what they have to say with a certain degree of respect the primary base of a civilised society?

Stop being so insecure in your ideas of liberty that you can’t allow young girls to talk about their faith without calling them ungrateful.

Give her the courage to step back from her choice later on, if that is what she decides.

Let's also not forget that Zaira is just an 18 year-old trying to discover herself.

Whatever decisions she takes, let us hope she finds herself without anyone telling her what to do.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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