Ira Khan, daughter of Amir Khan posted a photo of herself on social media. In this photo, she was wearing a bikini while celebrating her 25th birthday. What followed after that is something she could not have possibly imagined.
A flood of sickening comments filled the social media. Many asked whether this is allowed in Islam? Some asked about her hijab? Many asked whether her father still feels insecure in India? These questions, comments, and the photos that come with them show the mentality of some people, which can make any sane liberal (in a classical sense, not the pseudo-liberal) person’s skin crawl.
Ira Khan was behaving as most 25-year-old girls, especially with such background, would behave. She shared some photos of her birthday celebrations on social media which happens to be in a Bikini. To link this act of innocence and joy in a person’s life to politics shows the mindset of a person commenting and not Ira Khan or Amir Khan for that matter. There are a few things we need to understand about comments in Ira Khan and Hijab controversy. No sane person, who can think independently would support the whole hijab nonsense that took place in Karnataka early this year. Those who supported that were either politically motivated, under peer pressure, or simply ignorant about the gravity of it. I would not try to guess which one was Ira Khan, but certainly either of these. But if we attack her because she was wearing a Bikini, we create two different kinds of problems for ourselves. None of which I believe are necessary just to score some points on social media.
Ira Khan and people like her supported the wearing of the hijab not because it says so in Islam but because of freedom of choice. In that case, to point out that she is wearing a Bikini and to ask if it is ok according to Islam? Or to say this is hypocritical shows our lack of cognitive ability and the ability to understand the nuance of an argument. She supported wearing the hijab because, for her, it was about an individual’s choice. Similarly, she was wearing a bikini because it is her individual choice. There is no hypocrisy. The constant in both cases is individual choice and liberty. Which I accept could be difficult to comprehend in a control freak society like India. But that was her argument. Sure, the freedom of choice argument is completely bogus and designed by the ring leaders entirely to fool people like Ira Khan so that they could support wearing the hijab without any inhibitions. It is to let liberal or wannabe liberals support the hijab controversy while keeping the Islamists on the hijab side for obvious reasons. That trick by those ring leaders has clearly worked. But if we don't understand the nuance of this, we get into their trap.
Such arguments fail to take into account the second-order effect of these comments. These comments go viral not just in the right-wing ecosystem but also in the left-wing ecosystem. When people make such comments with those photos, the left-wing ecosystem peddles their narrative, look at these right-wing/Sanghi bigots, they are objectifying a young girl, look at them, they are harassing a young Muslim girl in India, look at these idiots, they are so dumb they can't even understand the nuances of our argument.
Such comments have long last and far-reaching impacts across the political and social spectrum. Attacking Ira Khan won't make the youth of India oppose the hijab. If anything it can push them towards the left-wing woke narrative. Because for them again, right-wing/sanghis become bigots which makes it more and more difficult for them to accept and argue against the left-wing in their peers. If we don’t want to alienate the urban educated youth and if we don't want to push them towards the left-wing ecosystem, then we must refrain from making such idiotic comments.