Creative Chaos Forces Female Resignation for Wearing Hijab

Choosing to wear "Hijab" should be my decision

Creative Chaos, a software house based in Karachi has reportedly forced a newly recruited female employee to resign for choosing to wear a hijab. Considering that Pakistan was fought for on the basis of religious freedom and the official name being, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I am struggling to understand how a software house can do such a thing?

The company is currently dealing with the fallout of the situation they have created for themselves. According to sources, a senior manager had asked her to stop taking the hijab otherwise she must resign. This situation is unethical on two accounts. Firstly, if the woman should take hijab or not is [and should be] entirely her decision. There should be no question of forcing it on, or off of an individual irrespective of caste, creed and/or religion. Secondly, since the manager’s identity remains unclear let’s suppose given the facts that the manager was male.

We all understand that the world is a “man’s world” where men rule supreme, however, no man should be given this right to decide what a woman should do with regards to covering her head. Keeping in view with the Islamic concept of decently covering ones modesty, if a woman dresses decently without showing unnecessary skin among other things, then she should not be dictated on how to run her life.

If  a woman is modestly dressed, whether she chooses to take a hijab or not should be solely up to her and no man should try to take her rights away from her.

It is reported that Creative Chaos has faced severe backlash for their controversial action on social media where faceless people have bashed them for their ironic actions. The management took quick action to try and rectify the situation but, as is the case under similar circumstances, the damage has already been done. The incident gained momentum when a friend of the female in question, took to Facebook to highlight the unjustified prejudice against her friend.

In her post she pens the following:

Her line manager comes up to her and tells her she can continue the job only if she takes off her hijab, because if she doesn't it would spoil the company's image as a ALL EMBRACING workplace that offers FREEDOM to it's employees (the irony).

Batool Naqvi

She continues to describe in her post that the employee took up the issue with the CEO to ask him why she was hired in the first place but, he was also unsupportive. According to Batool Naqvi‘s post he very casually responded, “yaar mein tou accept kar raha houn ghalti hogayi hum istarha k logon ko nahi rakhtay hain, not even the maulana type guys cause it gives the wrong kind of image.” [I accept that we have made a mistake since we don’t hire people like you who take hijab or even men with beards because it gives the wrong kind of image].

The CEO, Jawwad Kadir, backed up his manager who was of the opinion that she would stereotype the comapany if she wore the hijab when visiting universities to recruit students. The manager went even further to warn her against taking any legal action of discrimination against them [Creative Chaos] as it would only ruin her career. Rather such unprofessional attitude from Creative Chaos gives the impression of promoting stereotypes against those who practice differently.

Creative Chaos has since taken responsibility for the actions of their CEO and manager, and issued an official statement of apology as well as a letter from the Board of Governors.

The CEO in his letter of apology termed the incident a “grave mistake” adding that the employee had been asked to resign on “unprofessional and unethical grounds”. Kadir claims in the letter that the “culture” at Creative Chaos is that of “meritocracy, growth, mutual respect and collective tolerance.” However, as rightfully pointed out by Batool Naqvi in her post on Facebook, it is ironic because the female employee was not awarded similar respect and/or rights.

Furthermore, he discussed that the company appraises its employees on “skills, qualifications and the value to create” and not on their identities, gender, religion, political views et cetera, hence, they are not discriminated against on such grounds. Nonetheless, this is typical bullying on basis of religion and should not be tolerated.

Jawwad Kadir said that the manager in-charge has been suspended and has apologized to the new recruit in writing, for having discriminated against her.

I take full responsibility for this failure and am deeply ashamed that a colleague was put through distress and trauma.

Jawwad Kadir CEO, Creative Chaos

She has since been asked to rejoin the company but, it’s difficult to imagine she would after the incident of religious intolerance and stereotyping.

Moreover, the CEO of Creative Chaos has also been asked to resign. It is believed that he has done so, by means of an email to the company’s Board of Governors.