Clothes Make a Girl Part 2

This is gonna be a quick one and this is gonna be the one and only time that I’d write about religion in this blog or anywhere else.

Apparently some people are outraged with this post of mine: Clothes Make a Girl. Some wrote to me about it, some even un-friended me on Facebook or ranted in their blogs/twitter about it.

That’s okay. I have been un-friended for lesser reasons. We don’t have to see eye to eye on anything and everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

I don’t have to clarify my intention but I want to.

Don’t mistake my call for tolerance as a defiance against one’s religion. The whole point of the post was to take religion out of the equation because frankly, her practice of religion is her business and no one else’s. So is mine, so is yours.

For us to brand her immoral and not a good person because she doesn’t wear a tudung (headscarf) or doesn’t dress the way we deem appropriate is being intolerant. My issue is with our lightning-quick judgement of people. It is not challenging the tenets of one’s religion. It is my challenging our habit of moral policing other people who don’t think, act, dress, live the way we do.

I want to say on record that I understand where the outrage came from and why. It is okay that you feel I am out of line for speaking up for this girl.  It is also okay for you to tell me that I don’t have adequate knowledge of the religion to speak about wearing or not wearing tudung. I know I don’t, which was why this post and the one that initiated it were never about religion or aurat to begin with. I stand by what I wrote: oftentimes we use just our eyes to measure other people – whether they are good or bad, worthy or unworthy – it’s all based on what we see. I am not sorry for pointing that out.

Like I said, everyone should be free and feel safe voicing their opinion.

(Coincidentally, the un-friend button is also free and safe to be used by everyone. There. That’s the extent of my passive-aggressiveness for today I promise.)

What I ask is for us to respect each other’s point of view. Most importantly, please respect everyone’s right to keep their religion and the practice of it as something private and sacred to them and them alone. Yes, as a society, as brothers and sisters, we should look out for each other, exchange knowledge, lend a hand, offer advice.

But please leave the superiority complex at the door. Getting outraged or excessively critical at those who have opposing opinions or what you deem a misinterpretation of religion, yours or theirs, is alienating them further from your cause, no matter how pure your intention might be. Tolerance, just like understanding, works both ways.

Speak and be heard. While we don’t have to agree, we also don’t have to be a bully and all rude and lordly about it either.

And yes, feel free to disagree.

(Sorry, I lied about this being a quick one. That’s the only apology you’re getting for today.)


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