Published: Monday, April 8, 2013

Editorial

Assault on female journalists

Outrageous behaviour

We condemn Saturday’s attack on journalists, particularly on the several women journalists, by some of the participants of the Hefazat-e-Islam’s rally at Shapla Chattar. One of the female journalists had to be admitted to the hospital in a bad physical state. A few other women journalists were subjected to taunt and insults that have left them severely traumatised.
The journalists were performing their professional duty.  And it was very uncivil of those that indulged in passing lewd comments at the women journalist questioning their right to be in that area in the first place.
It is an unacceptable prejudice to suggest that women folks should remain indoors couped up within the four walls of their house. And when it was the responsibility of the rally goers as Muslims, to ensure the safety of the women journalists, they indulged in the most un-Islamic act by abusing them and causing one of them bodily harm.
If religion is what these radicals are pinning their views on, then they are not only ignorant about the teachings of Islam but are also lamentably unaware of the history of Islam, where the women folks accompanied their men folk into battles in some instances. But religion aside, no human being invested with a modicum of sensitivity, would ever think of roughing up a woman.
We also express our resentment at the way a few other journalists were beaten up by the long march participants. And in doing so they have exactly done the opposite of what Islam teaches. They have neither displayed patience nor respected the rights of others to hold and express opinions that may not conform to theirs.
To have questioned about one’s right to free movement or the right to choose professions of one’s liking is a clear abridgment of a person’s freedom which is unacceptable.
However, we note that Hefazat-e-Islam has tendered apology for the behaviour of some among them towards women journalists. While we appreciate this, we would impress upon them the necessity for ensuring that such an incident never recurs.