Pakistan is taking a leap forward gradually in accepting the third gender and recognizing their social rights. But unfortunately, they still struggle to enjoy similar religious rights as their male and female counterparts.
Islam changed the dynamics of human rights providing every individual with equal rights on societal fronts is manipulated and used to create a divide between people that clearly have no place in the religion itself.
The news of Saudi Arabia formally banning the transgender community from performing Hajj/Umrah caused an outrage on social media previously. Despite the reaction it received, sadly nothing has changed.
The trans community was given enough freedom and liberty to declare their gender as third, adding an ‘X’ column on CNIC and passport but this freedom, in turn, created more problems for them creating a barrier for them in the performance of religious duties.
A similar incident was reported by Express Tribune. Member of the transgender community, Shakeel Ahmed is extremely saddened by this divide. Shakeel gave up dancing career and dedicated the rest of her life to the service of Islam by joining Tablighi Jamaat.
Shakeel visa application for Umrah got rejected just because of her gender. She was about to leave to perform the mandatory religious duty on 5th December along with other members of Tablighi Jamaat. Unfortunately, she got to know a day before planned departure that everyone’s application was accepted except her.
Expressing her sentiments on this discriminatory behavior, she said:
Third genders that are successfully able to hide their gender identity by marking themselves as male or female face no issue. It is appreciable that government has recognized them as a separate gender, but this also has deprived them of opportunity to perform Hajj or Umrah. Pakistani government needs to convey the Saudi government about this development.
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