The French ban on face covering is an act of parliament passed by the senate of France on 14 September 2010. It resulted in the ban on the wearing of face-covering headgear, and other veils covering the face in public places, except under specified circumstances. The ban also applies to the abaya, a full-body covering, if it covers the face. The bill had previously been passed by the National Assembly of France, on 13 July 2010.

How did this feel? A non-Muslim country banning an Islamic practice?

In July 2010, hundreds of Muslims protested against the bill in Karachi, Pakistan. A party (I won't want to name it) in Pakistan demanded that the UN take immediate action against France. This was because Muslims all around the world got so angry. There are of course many other examples of Muslims getting angry over one thing or the other.

I wouldn't say they shouldn't have been upset. Everyone has the right to live according to the ethical codes of their beliefs.

So fellow Pakistanis, many of whom have been burning the city during protests over West’s ‘anti-Islamic’ acts, given the above example how would you feel if you go to a high-end restaurant like Monal and they stopped you from entering because of your attire?

A guard on the lift comes and says ‘Madam please stop.’ And you give him a completely perplexed look, and ask ‘yeah?’

He would say, ‘Madam you can't enter.’

‘What? Why? Am I drunk? Armed? Carrying any drugs? Doing any sort of crime?’

And then how would you feel when he asks you to adjust your trousers' length because you are not allowed to enter in sleeveless or shorts or any variation thereof? 

Well at least I felt so astonished that I didn't believe my ears.

All I could say was ‘Pardon me, what?’

Then he pointed towards a picture with a sign of 'not allowed' with a sleeveless shirt and shorts.

My brain ceased for some seconds and my jaw dropped. I felt such a burst of rage, which evolved into infuriated pity.

I kept looking at his face with mixed feelings of anger, disgust and shame.

I wouldn't misbehave with him, because he was only a guard doing his duty.

But I had to ask him, ‘What if a foreigner comes? Would you stop them for dressing similarly as well?'

Monal is a well known place, where non-Muslims and foreigners would go as well.

But he replied, ‘Yes we do. We stop anyone who dresses like this.’

Isn't that ridiculously bad hospitality? What impression are we giving for our country?

So again I would ask, why do we then get angry when they ban abayas in France? Why is that such an issue? Why do we hold animosities against them, when we do exactly the same here?

Question: if this rule of Monal, i.e. ‘no shorts no sleeveless’ is to comply with Islamic laws, then they should have told me, ‘Madam get a dupata, cover your head, wear something so that none of the features of your body are prominent. You are entering with two males, show and prove your halal relationship with them. If you have none, use a separate lift, go and dine in some separate hall, where no music is being played, and no sort of haram deed is being done by anyone.’

This isn't Islam. Islam doesn’t allow you to choose halal or haram as per your desires. We cannot follow some rules and some not.

So what exactly is it then? What and how would they justify it?

If my tight trousers on my hips didn't annoy them why did its length bother them?

My trousers weren't even two inches high, and still they asked me to adjust the length?

This is the 21st century. When exactly are we going to get our heads out of the Stone Age? How much more time to learn to at least learn to live and let live.

Is it that difficult? That impossible?  What exactly is our point? What are we trying to prove?

On a completely unrelated note, Monal at Liberty Market, Lahore has already had the honour of being sealed by the Director of Punjab Food Authority Ayesha Mumtaz over lack of hygiene. Just thought you should know.