IT was reported in Dawn (Dec 20) that a Lahore-born American working as a taxicab driver in St Louis has sued the local government for not allowing him to wear shalwar-kameez and a kufi cap while driving a taxi on the grounds that it was Islamic dress and the ban violates his religious freedom.

Obscurantist-minded people of the like of this type of taxi driver bring a bad name to Islam. Islam is a universal religion and is found in regions with a variety of climates and seasons. The type of dress one wears is dictated by local weather condition. The dress one wears in the Tundra region cannot be worn in tropical regions, for example.

Second, nowhere in the Quran or Sunnah is it specified that a Muslim must wear only shalwar-kameez and kufa cap as his dress.

G.B. SHAH BOKHARI Peshawar

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Comments (15)

Muzaffar Saeed
December 25, 2012 11:05 am
I agree. But, in a true democratic and free society like United States, everyone has the freedom to wear whatever is under the moral restrictions.
G.A.
December 25, 2012 1:50 pm
I agree with the writer. I see a lot of people dressed like Lawrence of Arabia in the West especially Pakistanis. Islamic dress is modesty and looking presentable at all times. I have personally seen a shabbily dressed taxi driver walking dressed in unclean and in unpressed shalwar kameez and walking through a bunch of bank executives downtown.
Khan
December 25, 2012 5:31 pm
Rightly said.
Anonymous
December 25, 2012 1:17 pm
Was the driver breaking the law? I'm no religious extremist, but I believe in individual freedom. As long as the person was not in violation of a law, he has the right to wear anything he likes.
Khanm
December 25, 2012 11:18 am
Cultural values have always been dominated in the Islamic world. A lot of things we do as a tradition have nothing to do with the teaching of Islam. Unfortunately the true meaning and teaching have never been practiced.
zafarov
December 25, 2012 9:57 am
Absolutely. This man is just another attention seeker.
Tahir
December 25, 2012 10:57 am
Very well said. THe best option is for the grieved to return to his country of origin or else where his dress code requirements are acceptable.
mansoor
December 25, 2012 3:29 pm
If people who wants to wear half dress wear it as they have choice or right, likewise people who want to wear full dress, weather shalwar qameez or trouser or other also have similar right or choice, and no where in quran or religion it was mentioned that we only have to wear trouser or rulers dress code.
Aj
December 25, 2012 5:54 pm
you can wear bikinis or just nothing in US but any dress which represents modesty is banned. Where are the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION seekers and human right activists. That something called ISLAMOPHOBIA.
AHMAD
December 25, 2012 6:33 pm
You have a freedom to wear whatever you like if you are in your own time. If you are on "clock" working for someone, you do whatever the boss or the rule says. Pakistanis have the tendency to bring bogus argument of "Islamic" dress all the time. What is a Islamic dress. Kurta pajama or shalwar kameez are indian hindu and sikhs dresses repectively. Prophet Yaqub (bph) was a stone worker and used to wear pants with pockets on both side to carry his tools and modern type shirt. Long clothes such as shalwar and long kameez is hazardous in manufacturing envionment. Beard is not allowed in chemical plants in the USA a nd Canada, to avoid skin infection. Will this be a religious argument also.
Pradip
December 25, 2012 10:52 pm
Think of an opposite scenario...a western woman in Pakistan in a public place wearing whatever she thinks is her religious or democratic right to wear. What do you think will happen? Can she address her grievance in a court of law?
ZH hashmi
December 26, 2012 2:45 am
I agree with Mr Bukhari . Islam doesn't any culture but it teaches us to respect all culture. By the way our Prophet never wore a Shlawar Kameez . It is not merely the dress it is how one think and behave which may manifest Islam. On the other hand the champions of democracy and freedom of everything including gay marriages , how dare the dislike if someone want to pursue his/her cultural obligations
AHA
December 26, 2012 1:48 pm
Yes, if they accept him. Well said.
Iqbal khan
December 26, 2012 3:45 am
Or not wear anything under the same pretext.My suggestion pls don't pollute that country.
Naseer
December 26, 2012 7:13 am
Actually he is such a devout Muslim, that he can only live in Saudi Arabia. That is if they accept him.
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