Anchor Kiran Naz teaches Pervez Hoodbhoy the hijab

Pakistani netizens are rallying in support of the hijab after physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy questioned the abilities of hijabi women on a talk show on Tuesday.

On a talk show, the Pakistani nuclear physicist was heard talking about women attending educational institutes wearing the hijab. He said he started teaching in 1973 and rarely saw a woman on campus with the hijab. Today, women wearing hijabi and burqa outnumber “normal” girls in educational institutions.

The physicist added that the hijab and burqa reduce the class participation of these girls to the point that they don’t even ask questions and sometimes you can’t even feel their presence in class. He said that girls used to ask the question and he would gladly answer it.

Pervez Hoodbhoy’s music video has gone viral on social media and sparked outrage among netizens. A large number of netizens criticized Pervez Hoodbhoy for making derogatory comments against hijabi women. They argued that hijabi women are just as talented and capable as other non-hijabi women. #HijabIsObligatory is among the top trends on Twitter on Friday morning.

Read more: Fawad Chaudhry denies state made hijab compulsory for PTV anchors

Women wearing the hijab are not abnormal: Kiran Naz

Meanwhile, presenter Kiran Naz also wore hijab on her live TV show in solidarity with hijabi women. She argued that hijabi women deserve equal respect and opportunity in response to Pervez Hoodbhoy’s regressive comments. She said that she does not wear hijab but hijab is part of Islamic culture in Pakistan but no one can call women who wear hijab abnormal.

“Women who wear hijab are normal in exactly the same way as women who don’t wear hijab,” she said. She argued that wearing the hijab would not change her thoughts and words.

Read more: Twitter angry as France tries to ban hijab for women under 18

She cited several successes who wear hijab, including Sindh MPA politician Nusrat Sehar Abbasi who underwent a major change and wears full hijab. She also cited commercial pilot Shahnaz Laghari and a hijabi girl from Faisalabad who won 18 medals last year.

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