Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Harassment..!

Illustration by Lorraine Sorlet
By: Kiran Ismail Advocate,
Islamabad.

Harassment Defining the meaning of Harassment simply is to bother someone, but if I define the word harassment broadly it is to upset, threat, humiliate, embarrass a person if I start explaining the word Harassment specifically it includes so many other words in itself. Trying to differentiate a word bother and harass, person can get bothered from anything it is taken as annoying for example a continuous noise can bother a person which I think is Fair enough but at some point one get so annoyed that one wants to stop that noise, isn’t it. Yes! At least I do. Here the connotation HARASS need elaboration, a connotation which has its serious intrestment on another person having serious impact, to others, more broadly annoying. I shall share my understanding of the term harassment, having the example of someone yelling loudly. The person who is yelling/shouting could just be annoying, embarrassing or threatening but the tone may aggravate this act to be harassment.

To my assumption everyone faces harassment, no matter of which gender and of what age. A child may face it on daily basis and the reason I say so because at times people yells at them like don’t make noise, sit down, open your mouth and eat, stop running, stop playing and so on so forth. In my opinion and understanding these words could have been said politely. my point of view may be different from others because I, at times also yell or shout, when I am angry, burdened or stressed, completely disregarding the feelings of other person who is being shouted at. I would not single myself out as there would be many others who may not have control over themselves, not to shout. I presume it’s natural.. Even Our religion-Islam- teaches us to be polite and not to hurt anyone. In this regard I would quote the following hadith from:
Jaame’ al-Sa’adaat, vol. 2, pg. 215:
“It is not permissible for a Muslim to look at a brother Muslim in a manner that hurts and inconveniences him.”
The very subtility mentioned in this hadith that all creatures and or living being in this word or the universe belong to ALLAH and no one, therefore, non His creation, neither has the power nor can harass or upset, in any manner, the other person. So is the command of ALLAH.

At this juncture I would broaden the perspective of the Phrase HARASSMENT in light of perception which generally exists amongst our masses! Say the Sexual Harassment. It is typically a humiliating behaviours towards person’s gender. It includes expressions, gestures, words, actions etc. Sexual harassment is also faced on daily basis by many, it is very common at work place, schools, colleges, even at public place. as well at one time it was a hidden but now it is very open the way knowledge increases, I think the same way harassment is increasing and that’s scary sometimes. I am a women, I face harassment many times at workplace, public place even sitting with friends, let me be very clear as I already said I am discussing here about harassing someone not coming to the point of touching yet well my point is not only to discuss women’s here my point of discussion is, this happens with everyone even with a men, old age men, a boy I am not raising a point of gender discrimination here, and not even biased at all but what I am trying to discuss is why this harassment is so common? Is there is lack of education, parenting, or basic ethics are not being told what is that basic reason? Women face this issue on daily basis, one in every three women in the world is exposed to sexual harassment/violence from a partner, or from any other person. Women is harassed at workplace from a boss or any colleague or any other random person then where she should go for work is there any place, which is safe for her, if she wants to work, earn for herself or for her family what is the problem in it, it is the need of the home, I am not quoting anything here related to Islam why? Because I am discussing here things generally just for the sake of humanity and I think the problem is she is a women, because she is a women she is born for it. I know Islam says not to go alone out and many other things but if she is going out for her needs and working in office or going to school, college Islam never said that don’t educate yourself, then why people criticize, why they start pointing other issues if a girl or women get harassed why we all just can’t stick to this harassment word. Islam says to cover your head, wear appropriate clothes which is completely agreed because this is what Allah have asked women’s to do but my question still goes around the table, even if a women is covered from head to toe still she is harassed, even while performing hajj or umrah in mecca women’s are sexually harassed. It is not about covering yourself or your body it is about your inner self, your inner purification if your soul is relaxed and satisfied you are not doing anything wrong, it is the duty of Allah to decide not us, we are His creation and only born to pass the test. Now coming to the point of touching other women, this one thing scares every women, well when you hardly try to discuss with someone that I am scared the other person will always say don’t get scared just ignore, don’t tell anyone and why are you scared be strong BUT DON’T TELL ANYONE ELSE, one side they say women’s to be strong but not to tell anyone or take any action but yes, if any issue occurs play the girl card to seek attention of other people but what if she is in office or at such place where is no help, so many times you have to be alone in office while you are working people won’t understand this the way males are struck in office the same way women’s are also not able to leave, now not being feminist and gender biased same way I feel for men’s they get harassed too, and its vice versa. Yes, they also get harassed on daily basis at least now, because when you think about the word harassment it immediately comes to your mind that men harassed a women. However, many men are not able to speak they can’t tell you, so many complaints are made where number of male harassment are increasing day by day. I can understand that it is quite hard for men as well when your boss demands for sexual favours and threatens you if not fulfilled, or will fire you or give you poor performance review or he offers you a promotion, in return of sexual favour men’s are in same position now a days as of women’s, where I think women at least speak to her friend, mother , husband but men cannot speak to any one because for men it is more shameful to tell that I got harassed by a men or by a women, people, friends will laugh at them, oh! You are a men, and you got harassed and give him the title of a women, that you are weak. It is not about being weak or strong, it is not about men or a women, it is about who had faced this all. A girl who was never touched by any person and suddenly she got sexually harassed what she would do? Or same for men what he would do? Can u explain someone so openly that I got sexually harassed, my private parts were touched by other person while travelling or anywhere else? No it’s not easy it’s hard to speak because when you speak people will judge you right? Giving you an example of #Metoo campaign where people raise their voice against powerful and prominent men who committed this crime what was the result, people criticized, nothing is easier living in this world. Even most of the girls stay quiet for the sake of their relationships, because she knows if she will speak it will destroys the family ties and relations. And what basically most of the girls do to not get labelled or get tagged, commits suicide, but now she don’t even commit suicide, she is murdered. And same for men if he won’t fulfil the demands of the boss, he will lose his job, career everything, because it is not easy to get a new job, what will he do, he will lead himself towards a depression, he will also commit a suicide and for me this is also a murder, a murder of humanity, and that’s the end of story. Did we ever sit and thought about it that how many men’s and women’s commit suicide on daily basis from this heinous act, no we never, maybe few from us did so, what we all do is shows a little concern and then back to normal routine. Besides the story of men’s and women’s what about child abuse and harassment, even a child in this world is not safe. A chid cannot protect him/her by own, parents negligence leads them to this act, I am not able to understand that what kind of negligence is this that a child faces this kind of abuse or physical harassment at home other than schools, organizations or communities etc. just switch on the Television and you will hear many cases related to this physical harassment of a child, you all must be aware of the cases happened in kasur, there is a series of child sexual abuse cases on daily basis, the most the child sexual cases are in Punjab and around 70% cases are reported from rural areas and 30% are reported from urban areas. And there more than a hundred cases which were gang-raped and more than two hundred cases reported as who attempted this act and many children were killed right after this heinous and shameful act. A child is a child regardless of age, is that a problem of lust or this is a use of power? Or to stop women’s working independently or to devalue their role at workplace even for a men as I mentioned above, where boss demands for sexual favours and if not fulfilled the other person will face the consequences. It might be a lust but more than a power to me.

Concluding my point that sexual harassment is an understated rape, which is not about sex, it is more about fear. How can it be just sex? When it is done forcefully, even with a men, women (includes a mother as well she is not even safe), a child or with anyone. How it can be said that other person was fully involved, let’s talk about a women living in this men dominating society how can she fight with a men who is actually more powerful how is she able to protect herself. There are many innocent men, what they should do, how come they protect themselves. Especially a child, is child able to protect him/herself from such acts. But all over women’s are more criticized and pointed out. Sexual harassment is a tactic used against a women to frighten her, to not make her speak or talk about any such activity and if she speak people will laugh at her. I can only request to all those people who are actually facing this act, there are proper laws made which needs to be followed and where you can lodge/file your complaints. Pakistan penal code 1860 section 509, 366A, 496C, Protection against harassment of women at the workplace Act, 2010, Child protection Act, 2018, and many other. However, people need to understand if a women smiles while talking to you or if she is wearing jeans or skirts it doesn’t mean that she is giving you an hint to sexually harass her that is her life to wear whatever she wants to and it’s her positive personality that how she speaks, same is for men, if he is giving positive gesture it clearly don’t justify that he is offering you to commit something wrong, which will later on considered as a shameful act even it can be occurred with the same sexes as well, it’s rare but it happens. Likewise, Islam has placed some special importance in the protection of one’s dignity and moral values. Islam has clearly prohibited illegal sex, sexually provocative dress, nudity, or anything which is an invitation to engage one in sexual activity.

The Quran 24:31 obliges men to observe modesty:
“Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do” and the next verse says “women must cover otherwise men are distracted” when it’s come to the Islamic concept of hijab, it is the men who are first commanded to never stare at women, and instead guard their private parts and Chasity, regardless of how women choose to dress. And the same way women must cover herself. Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) illustrated this point when the Prophet rode with his companion Al Fadl bin Abbas. A woman described as strikingly beautiful approached the Prophet to seek his guidance on some religious matters. Al Fadl began to stare at her because of her beauty. Noting this, the Prophet Muhammad did not scold the woman for dressing immodestly or revealing her beauty. Instead, he “reached his hand backwards, catching Al Fadl’s chin, and turned his face to the other side so that he would not gaze at her”. Thus, the Prophet Muhammad once more established that the primary burden to observe hijab rests on men.

Surat Al-Tahrim (The Prohibition), 66:6.
“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones.”
From this, attention should be given to the sexual awareness, that it is suitable to aware your children’s/youth from this awareness that they may not be misguided by other people.

Ending my point with this sexual harassment which should be stopped, I hope that we all will get rid of this one day. Whether it’s a women, men or a child they all are the respect of our society, our nation they must be protected and feel protected around the globe. Harassing them is not an acceptable act at all. I am glad that people around the globe are breaking their silence. One thing I must say there is need to understand the word NO! If someone said no it means no, other person should stop, because one is not willing to do so and this is enough to defend yourself. And what I suppose is everyone is aware of what Allah permits and forbids. We all have our own point of views just we all want is to take actions against those who are doing all such heinous acts which are unbearable and are prohibited by Allah in order to know what is just. There is a need of our people to educate themselves, acquire knowledge. Therefore, if they educate themselves, they will acquire positive thoughts in their minds, there will be a birth of positivity in every individuals mind, and then harassing would might get decreased in the country and as well around the globe.
Muslim Hadith:
“Knowledge cannot be acquires with sloth.” But if someone acquire the knowledge for worldly advantage, he will not experience the scent of paradise.
Syed Bukhari:
“The best among those are who learn the Quran and teach it.”

Check Also

Growing unease over Jammu and Kashmir situation

European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs expressed serious concern over complete communications and media blackout ...

Leave a Reply