Free to wear my hijab

French designer Agnes B’s statement is insulting, not just to Muslim women, but to women in general (‘French minister compares veiled women to ‘negroes who supported slavery’, Gulf News, April 1). Exposing a woman’s body in size zero clothing is not the only way to make her ‘beautiful’. There is much more to a woman than that. Even more deplorable and ignorant is the French Families Minister Laurence Rossignol’s statement that the hijab enslaves women. Covering my body doesn’t mean I am enslaved, it means I am modest.

I started wearing a hijab at the age of 21 years old, of my own accord. After marriage, I shifted to Scotland, where I had to endure racism. I had abuses and a bottle thrown at me, which fortunately missed its mark. My husband and I decided to move to the UAE rather than risk our freedom to live and dress the way we want. I do not look at a scantily clad woman and judge her to be immoral. Similarly, I wish the other half would not judge me as enslaved. My hijab is my choice. It is about my freedom to choose what I want to wear. My body does not define me. My mind does.

From Ms Mariam Hameeda Jinnah



Saudi’s economic energy plan

The news that Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has laid out his vision for the Public Investment Fund, which will eventually control more than $2 trillion (Dh7.35 trillion) and help wean the kingdom off oil, is a welcome development (‘Modi to talk energy, trade in Riyadh’, Gulf News, April 3). The asset management community will surely welcome more details of the fund that will produce a safe and well-diversified income stream to replace the current oil revenue.

From Mr Ranjit K. Bhandari

Piscataway, US


Tragedy from cutting corners

This is with reference to the recent flyover accident in Kolkatta, India (‘Murder charge mulled in overpass collapse’, Gulf News, April 3). The tragedy saw many casualties and people injured, which is unacceptable. This construction project started in 2009 and is yet to be completed, and so, this mishap has occurred. Poor materials and improper supervision are the main contributing factors, in my opinion. I am wondering how the construction company can dismiss this incident, by simply calling it ‘an act of God’. The guilty should be punished rigorously and it should be a lesson for others who want this type of work. I pray for the victims and hope for a speedy recovery for the injured.

From Mr K. Ragavan



Nol cards on the bus

The regular rush and chaos of bus passengers at the Dubai Metro station bus stops, while boarding and alighting, prompt me to suggest that before the Roads and Transport (RTA) authorities install Nol card machines, they could also place them on the upper deck of the double decker buses, if it is technically feasible. As the machines are installed at the door entrances and as one of the machines at the first door is mostly used by women, only two are left for the remaining passengers to use.

This arrangement creates a long queue or congestion, and inconvenience to both passengers who try to get in and out of the buses, especially when they attempt not to miss the bus. By installing one or two Nol machines at the top deck, almost half of the people can complete their check in at the top deck, and hence can freely come out without obstructing the entry of the passengers and avoid the push-and-pull mess.

From Mr Surendran Padmanabhan



Fire arms are dangerous

People don’t realise the fact that keeping weapons is a big responsibility (‘Armed with photo of slain daughter, mum pushes for change’, Gulf News, April 3). Assault rifles are very dangerous weapons. Why would civilians be given access to these, even with licenses? For self-protection, there are other smaller weapons, but to keep these at home requires extra precautionary measures. I know some people who like to have a collection of weapons, like cars, to show their friends with pride.

In America, the government has to make some rules about selling these dangerous firearms to the public, for their safety.

From Ms Syeda Ahmad


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False perceptions

Did they think that Europe is Eldorado (‘After seeking a better life in Europe, some homesick refugees return to Iraq’, Gulf News, April 3)? We all have to work, pay taxes and obey the laws of the new country. Going home because cigarettes are costly indicates that they are not real refugees, in my opinion.

From Ms Szilvia Olah


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Offer prayers, not judgment

I doubt the information about the cigarettes is the sole purpose of them wanting to leave. Adapting to a new culture in a foreign land is quite difficult. How about some prayers for people fleeing their war torn countries, rather than judgment?

From Ms Maria Borrelli


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Refugees flee war

For a one-year trip of boredom, it has cost German tax payers millions of Euros. A refugee is a person who is running away from war, and not someone out to have an adventure. The idea of being a refugee is that the person didn’t have any other option but to flee.

From Ms Iliana Denny


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No place like home

It is human nature to take things for granted until we lose it forever. This is exactly the case with some individuals who are so busy in life that they barely spare a thought for their home. They realise what it’s worth, only when they are on the verge of losing their home, or when they have lost it already. Many Syrians would have left their country in hopes of greener pastures and brighter futures, but once faced with the hardships of living in a foreign land, they realise the worth of their own country, their home.

From Ms Fatima Suhail


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Not a holiday

If you are escaping boredom, you are not a refugee. These people used illegal smugglers and wasted tax money from their host countries, because they were bored and wanted a holiday. I have no sympathy for the people that see fleeing war as a choice. There are many who would be grateful to find refuge.

From Mr Chris Reid


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Blown out of proportion?

When the news channel first posted that passengers were asked to step off the plane because they were Muslims, I was so disappointed (‘Muslim family taken off US flight for ‘safety’, Gulf News, April 3). After a short while, people started saying that it was a seatbelt issue. I’m a Muslim and if this is the issue then it’s okay.

From Mr Areeb Khan


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What security problem?

I don’t understand. They asked for a safety harness for the children and the harness was not available in the plane? If this is the reason, what’s all the fuss about? The airline explained that the family got on a different plane. Problem solved.

Is there something I’m missing? I’m a Muslim as well and I know there could be many misunderstandings. But, I still don’t get it. What was the deal with the belts?

From Ms Lara Kosma


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Formal apology

This video and story has gone viral. It’s clearly discrimination. I am less and less of a fan of this airline and they should issue a formal apology to the family.

From Ms Beth Haynes Ulleri


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Mistaken allegations?

This was another case of poor customer relations, and even worse communication, both by the cabin crew and the passengers. If one reads and listens, there is nothing to imply they were removed from the flight because they were a possible safety concern. Their children’s safety was the concern, as the aircraft did not appear to have the necessary equipment and the family was promptly flown out on the next possible plane. We need to be very careful about crying ‘discrimination’. It’s akin to crying ‘wolf’.

From Ms Andra Riddle Goddard

Caen, France

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Peaceful people

That’s so bad. I believe and know that Muslims are peaceful people. I am a Christian and I respect the real Muslims in this world, because they have proved the difference between Muslims and terrorists who proclaim they are Muslims.

From Mr Geffrex Mwangi


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Muslims aren’t terrorists

I’m have been working in the UAE for six years and all of my co-workers are Muslims. Also, I’m the only Filipino in my company and over the past six years, I have become good friends with my colleagues. Muslims are not terrorists. These terrorists are just a group of people using the name of Islam for their own evil gains. But it’s not true.

From Mr Ricky Ravida Romilla


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