Kamla: A hijab is sacred wear for Muslim women and they should be free to wear such without let or hinder
While I agree that a dress code is appropriate at schools, the reality is a hijab cannot be classed in the same category as hats, capes, sleeveless dress or see through mini-skirts.
A hijab is sacred wear for Muslim women and they should be free to wear such without let or hinder. The hurt that Ms. Nakhid and her family must feel is understandable. Equally hurtful would be if a Hindu person were to be barred from wearing a raksha or a Christian person barred from wearing a cross.
It is highly commendable of the young woman that she has chosen to follow a God-fearing and diligent path in life which she shows by her commitment to wearing her hijab.
This is especially important as today in our country we see widespread crimes being committed by people who seem to have no care for the rule of law or love of God and fellowmen.
As a woman leader in our country, it is my responsibility to seek especially the interest of women and girls and to do my duty without fear or favour and with love regardless of ethnicity, religion or social status.
I have always endeavoured to do this throughout my career as teacher, lawyer and parliamentarian and have always tried my best to embody through my actions and my words what our national anthem says, ” here every creed and race find an equal place”.
This matter is not a political one, it is one of natural justice, equality and fairness.
Our society must reflect the values that we wish to impart to our children; therefore, while not compromising the foundation of our values we must also be conscious of a world that is evolving and be appreciative of inclusion and diversity. That is what makes us unique.
In all the circumstances, I urge the Board of Lakshmi Girls College to reconsider their decision,and also call on the Minister of Education and the Attorney General to move swiftly to have this matter resolved.
With the current crisis our country is mired in, I urge all involved to let good sense prevail and let justice be done.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
23 May 2018