On Tuesday (September 14), Pakistani nuclear physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy lashed out at the Imran Khan government over the systematic ‘Talibanisation’ of the country’s education system, particularly through the publication of textbooks under the Single National Curriculum (SNC).
Hoodbhoy made the remarks during the programme ‘G for Gharidah’, which was aired on News One on Tuesday. At about 8 minutes into the show, the nuclear physicist said, “I have seen some books, where girls and their mothers were shown fully covered and sitting on the floors. When such girls will see women not ‘covered’ in such a manner elsewhere, she would believe that it is wrongdoing on the part of the woman.”
Pervez Hoodbhoy strongly condemned the nefarious intentions of the federal government of Pakistan. He added, “This is a gross attempt at gender stereotyping, and the objective is to portray that the place of a woman is within the four walls of the house. This is an attempt at Talibanisation of education. They are trying to transform Pakistan into Afghanistan under the Imran Khan government. “
Nuclear physicist reveals about the growing Islamisation, imposition of hijab and restricted participation of female students
At about 22 minutes into the programme, Hoodbhoy shared his experience as a Physics Professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAD). He recounted, “I started teaching at QAD in 1973. You would hardly find a girl wearing a burqa 47 years ago at the varsity. Now, burqa and hijab have become a commonplace affair. You will not find a normal girl anymore. When these girls sit in classrooms, wrapped in Burqa and hijab, their activeness and responsiveness decline drastically”.
“Most of the times, it is even hard to notice whether they are even in classrooms. Earlier, female participation in class discussions was still low but now it is non-existent,” he added. The nuclear physicist did not mince any words while drawing a clear distinction between ‘normal girls’ and the ones clad in burqa and hijab. He also emphasised how a forced conservative dress code not only curtails individual freedom but also the ability of a woman to freely ask questions and resolve her queries.
Female anchor dawns a hijab to protest against the remarks of Pervez Hoodbhoy
Following Pervez Hoodbhoy’s comments on News One, Samaa TV host Kiran Naz decided to create a drama on live TV by quoting him out of context. Naz, who never appeared on the show in a hijab or burqa, began to defend the ‘Islamic cultural practice’. She further claimed that women who ‘choose’ to wear burqa or hijab are not ‘abnormal’ in any manner.
Good on you girl for putting this man in his place. Unbelievable that a man of Pervez Hoodbhoy’s stature can make such outrageous comments against those wearing hijab. He needs treatment. #Pervezhoodbhoy pic.twitter.com/IpumFUGCYq— Lubna U Rifat (@lubnaurifat) September 16, 2021
While dismissing the comments of the nuclear physicist, the Samaa TV host put on a hijab during the live show and continued the remainder of the programme.