Being a Muslim is difficult in our world today. That is, to say “IF” you are practicing Islam. However, if you wish to called a muslim and yet prefer to “blend in” with the chaff, then ofcourse, you will be forgiven and probably even ignored ! But following Islam, and holding steadfast to our deen can be a challenge. Perhaps it has always been a challenge for all muslim brothers and sisters, in every century but its even more now.
I suppose, having been bought up, “abroad” – I have yet to learn the art of toeing the lines ! Logic comes faster than compromise. Most frustrating is when one is told “its the rule” where the rule seems highly illogical and biased.
Hoping to travel in the near future, I realized my passport was short of unstamped pages. The outsourced company for passport support for the embassy/consulate asked me to renew my passport which still has a validity of another year !! Fair enough, all the paperwork was assembled and after spending hours in a queue, I am told, by the passport support company oops, the photograph in my passport, which is nearly 10 years old, has me posing without my hijaab, hence I need to now, procure an affidavit for “change of appearance” from another outsourced company which handles the visa of the consulate.
Naturally the location was far and ofcourse that also meant time as well as energy wasted and more money spent on the affidavit. Now, what had me really baffled is what the basic difference is between the said company issuing an affidavit without a single proof of my original identity !! Afterall, they too, were just taking my word for it along with my old passport copy ! So what was the reliability of this source ?? Just an easy avenue to make money and added punishment to the muslim women who decided to embrace the hijab !
2 hours later, I realized that the visa office was gradually growing in numbers of ladies in Hijaabs ~ to ascertain my assumption.
My question is :-
Does a man who decides to flaunt a beard, also need an affidavit of change of appearance ?
Does a man who turns totally bald also need an affidavit of change of appearance ?
Does a person who has had a part of his face burnt in an accident also need a change of appearance affidavit ? Probably not !
Do all celebrities who have huge nose and face jobs, also get asked for a change of appearance affidavit ? Probably not !
In other words ~ If your a muslim ~ rest assured, you are going to have atleast one or two different additional visits to the said offices as “harassment”.
I totally understand, the security issue involved for the change of appearance issue but I fail to understand, the source and strength of this affidavit. The counslate needs proof and where do they get that proof from ? From an adjacent department, within the premises !!! (had they been performing in the old fashioned manner from the same building in the old villa, they would have been just one room away ! )