Influential Muslim seminary issues fatwa against...female receptionists?

Yes, but remember: Islam is compatible with the 21st century.

India's leading Islamic seminary, the Darul Uloom Deoband, has barred Muslim women from working as receptionists, calling the act un-Islamic and against Shariah law, said a reported published on Tuesday.

According to the Press Trust of India, the Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa against the appointment of Muslim women as receptionists. The seminary issued the fatwa after a Pakistan-based company submitted a query on Nov 29 regarding the appointment of Muslim women as receptionists, said the report.

Darul Uloom said that a Muslim woman working in offices as receptionist was un-Islamic because Muslim women were not allowed to appear before men without wearing a veil, as ordained by Islam.

Muslim cleric and president of the UP Imam organisation, Mufti Zulfikar Ali, defended the fatwa and said that Muslim women could work in offices if they wore the veil. However, he added, the post of receptionist required constant interactions with people, and thus should not be practiced.

I can see where this would be a major problem. If a receptionist is constantly answering the telephone, she would have to remove her veil every time she picked up. In a busy office, the poor girl would be constantly behind, trying to maintain her Islamic dignity while satisfying the needs of commerce.

Maybe they could make a veil with holes in the side so that she could hear without taking it off? But then, trying to understand someone talking through a burlap sack would be problematic.

I am all for tolerance for other religions - even Islam - but don't tell me this is a "cultural thing." It is backward, misogynistic, and by any definition, sexist. You can condemn the practices of other religions without being intolerant. Certainly there are plenty of Americans who consider themselves pillars of tolerance who condemn the Catholic church for their stand on abortion and contraceptives. The idea that Islam gets a pass for their abominable treatment of women is idiotic and has far more to do with some misplaced notion of political correctness than the reality these women must deal with on a daily basis.

Until the modern world unites to tell Islamists that their treatment of women is unacceptable, women who live under sharia law - and that number is growing every year - will be no better off than they were in the dark ages.

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