Hefazet-e-Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi in a fresh statement on Sunday said girls must wear burqa if they want to get higher studies or they want to go to colleges and universities and their teachers must be female. He made the statement just two days after his sermon to his followers in a mahfil to not to send their daughters to schools, sparking widespread protests and criticism.
Shafi also requested all not to distort his statement which creates confusion among the citizens. He said, ‘A fraction is eager to create debate against me. They have been trying to prove that I am against women, women’s rights and education.’ ‘I am reiterating that we should create a safe atmosphere so that women can get education. We should also ensure girls’ safety and security. None can send their girls in an unsafe place. If people cannot practice morality — rape, murder and eve-teasing cannot not be stopped. The disparity between men and women also cannot be stopped,’ he said.
Shafi said that only Islam has given women the due respect. The gist of my statement is — if girls want to get higher education or if they want to go to colleges and universities they must wear burqa and their teachers should be female.
Earlier on Friday (January 11), addressing the annual mahfil or meeting, organised by Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrassa, Hathazari, Chattogram Hefazet-e-Islam top leader Ahmed Shafi implored his followers, ‘Please don’t send your daughters to schools. You can allow them to study up to Class IV or V, so that they can count their husband’s money and write letters. If you let them study beyond that — up to Class IX, X, MA and BA — they would be no more your daughters.’ Years ago, Shafi compared women with tetul or tamarind for which he acquired the infamous title ‘Tetul Huzur’.