Tag Archive for 'Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Faith)'

The ‘Daughters of the Faith’

Asiya Andrabi founded the notorious moral police Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Faith) in Kashmir. In The Times of India, Sarmila Ganesan meets her in Srinagar:

When Asiya Andrabi first went to buy a burqa at the age of 19, the shopkeeper told her she was too young for one. He didn’t even stock much burqa material then as it was hardly in demand. Today, seated in her in-laws’ home in downtown Srinagar, covered from head to toe in a thick black burqa, the 45-year-old says things are different now. In many ways, she feels responsible for this change. “Islam has instructed women to cover themselves completely,” says Andrabi, who is wearing white gloves and dark glasses too. A few years ago, Andrabi, along with other burqa-clad women, had sprayed “harmless” paint on the faces of Muslim women who were not veiled. Subsequently, she was arrested. For being a threat to national security.

“What has morality got to do with a country’s security?” asks Andrabi, president of a separatist organisation she formed in 1981 called Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Faith), which was banned in 2002 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. She believes that Kashmir is a part of Pakistan.