Muslim women seeks permission from road traffic department to grant them access of taking identity photos for their driving licence while in their religious veils locally called ‘Hijabu’
Muslim women in the country who ought to be drivers are complaining of being denied by road traffic authorities to take identity pictures of their driving licence while they are in their religious attire.
In an interview with one of the complaining women to our reporter she said she has been denied three times to take a picture for her driving licence because she has been refusing to take her ‘Hijabu’ off as the traffic authorities advised her it is a must to remove the Hijabu.
“I have been denied three times by the authorities at road traffic, demanding me to remove my Hijabu for driver’s license. Seriously, why is this is happening in this time of modern world? It is so painful that I had to remove my Hijabu to take a picture for my own driving license, to say the truth, I am not comfortable with how I have been treated by these road traffic authorities,” she lamented.
In his remarks Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) spokesperson Sheik Dinala Chabulika said he is surprised that the department is refusing to permit Muslim women to obtain their driver’s license while in Hijabu.
He stated other public areas like hospitals, immigration and other government sectors where Muslim women are allowed to put on the Hijabu when taking ID cards.
However, director of the Road Traffic Department, Jacques Manong’a explained to our reporter that Muslim women are only allowed to hide their hair, not the face and ears when taking photos of the driver’s license.
According to some Islamic beliefs, Muslim women are not recommended to expose their hair, ears and face in totality to strangers that is why they end up dressing Hijabu.