A hijab-clad student named Muskan Khan lauded as “Sherni” in Pakistan has set a new precedent of astute bravery among the Muslims. Khan was scoffed at and flouted by a mob of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) supporters in India’s Karnataka state on Tuesday while she responded by shouting back “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). On Tuesday she went to her college in Mandaya to submit her assignment. She parked her scooter and was eventually confronted by an RSS mob that shouted and tried to surround her.
Unshaken, she proceeded to walk to her college building while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. Her video went viral on mainstream and social media in no time. In Pakistan’s social media, there is hardly anyone who did not pay a tribute to her bravery. While everyone is analyzing the event according to their level of perception, there is one established fact that cannot be denied. Muskan Khan’s bravery has shown how a true and cherished Muslimah should live a life in India.
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Why should we consider Muskan a hero?
This event has taken place at a time when Indian Muslims are striving for their rights in RSS-BJP led India. Religious nationalism is on rising where Hindu religious movements such as “Ghar Wapisi” are a recipe for the extinction of Muslim fabric in India. Khan’s bravery has put a new zeal among Indian Muslims that regardless of the tyrannical situation in India they can fight for their rights. And only this character and mindset will secure the future of Muslims in India.
The character shown by Khan presented the case of such a believer who regardless of oppression will not submit to tyranny. This character is one of the traits of a cherished Muslimah. All Indian Muslims who saw Muskan Khan will eventually seek to strengthen and nourish their path towards emancipation. For Muslim women, to reclaim their feminine identity whilst upholding women’s liberation, the case of Muskan Khan is a beautiful example. This event is surely taken as an example to strive for the true emancipation of Muslims against RSS goons sitting in Lok Sabha.
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If we pay close attention to this event we saw innate traits of a cherished Muslimah in Muskan Khan;
2- Love for Islam
These are rare adjectives that a special breed of a female can possess at a very young age. The resistance of Muskan Khan to see in this light, to wear the burqa by choice and shout Allah o Akbar in the face of the RSS mob, is the real struggle of Indian Muslims. To have both freedoms of religion and freedom of culture/attire/human dignity, it can take different shapes and forms in its own epoch but is the same resistance to tyranny as in other epochs. It is important to highlight a few instances that are all the same template with just different parameterized instantiations:
- Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat in the front of the segregated bus that lighted the fire in the mind of oppressed man and ignited the Black Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s of America;
- Rachel Corrie, a half-Jew half Christian woman, stood in front of the tyranny of the Israeli D9 Caterpillar bulldozer to protect a Muslim Palestinian home from demolition in Rafah, Gaza, sustaining Palestinian imagination to be free when even those of their enemy’s civilization side with them.
- and Hazrat Zainab, the daughter of Hazrat Fatima and Imam Ali, and the granddaughter of the Prophet of Islam, in the aftermath of Karbala led the voicing of resistance against the tyranny of the burgeoning empire in the imperial court of the tyrant of its time, lighting the fire in the mind of men and women to this day fourteen centuries later to resist tyranny.
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We ought to focus on the most significant triaged predator, and one thing is certainly true that we cannot take them on if we do not institute emancipation and liberation amongst ourselves first. Muskan Khan’s stance for religious freedom depicts that she has already liberated her and will stand up for the cause of her religion. This takes character, and this is exactly the true path of all the oppressed Muslims of India.
Sibtain Ahmad Dar specializes in Pakistan affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in the Middle East and South Asia. He can be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.