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Navigating Campus Comfort: A Call for Respectful Spaces at AMU


Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) undoubtedly stands as a beacon of education and progress, cultivating an environment where students, regardless of gender, can strive for academic excellence. Despite these commendable qualities, a disconcerting reality persists, casting shadows on the comfort and safety of female students within the campus confines. It is imperative to address the prevalent issue of the unwarranted male gaze, which not only undermines the principles of inclusivity but also poses a significant obstacle to the overall development of female students.

Female students, like their male counterparts, have the right to engage in ordinary activities without fear or discomfort. Whether it's studying in the library, enjoying chai in the canteen, or simply walking on campus, these activities should not be accompanied by the unsettling experience of being watched or harassed. The question arises: does the presence of women on campus impede the right to a comfortable academic environment?

My decision to pen down this article was prompted by the distressing personal encounters of daily unwarranted stares and an exceptionally uncomfortable incident during an evening on campus. In my quest to shed light on the pervasive issue, I reached out to friends, batch mates, and female students in general, discovering that my experiences were unfortunately not isolated. Conversations brought forth even more distressing accounts—stories of unsettling encounters that extended beyond mere stares.

One friend recounted an incident where she was accosted by two individuals in front of her department, who said they were like her ‘brothers’ and insisted that she should accompany them. Another shared a harrowing tale of being relentlessly stalked for an entire month by a student from a prominent department. Instances of catcalling, persistent stalking, and now, distressingly, harassment on social media have become disturbingly commonplace. What is equally disheartening is that these incidents have been reported to the relevant authorities, but regrettably, no effective action has been taken.

The uncomfortable reality of being subjected to the male gaze is a daily struggle for many female students. In places like the library, canteens and university roads, the invasive stares from male peers can transform ordinary activities into distressing experiences. The question then becomes: What can be done to create an atmosphere where women can pursue their education without feeling scrutinized?

From its inception, AMU has been committed to providing education to both men and women. While the early years saw a focus on male education, efforts were made to extend educational opportunities to women. Now that we have a good representation of women, more specifically Muslim women in various excellent courses, does the responsibility not fall on the shoulders of the university’s male students and the authority to ensure that female students feel safe and respected in their pursuit of education?

Respecting boundaries and fostering a culture of mutual respect must be a shared responsibility. Muslim male students, in particular, are called upon to champion an atmosphere that values the dignity and rights of their female peers. This involves not only refraining from unwarranted gaze but actively intervening against any form of harassment, thereby creating an environment where women can move freely and comfortably.

Simply put out there, girls wearing Abaya and observing The Hijab have had similar experiences. A dirty mind leaves none, is the case. The Qur'an makes a strong connection between men's intents and their sight. Males are expected to safeguard their mental purity before attempting to uphold their physical purity. It is true that a clean mind will be less likely to engage in impure behaviors and thoughts. The root of it all, according to the Qur’an, is the gaze. The Qur’an does not put any blame on women, regardless of how women choose to dress and regardless of the fact that they wear the veil or not. It calls upon men to control their sexual impulses first, by first and foremost lowering their gaze. My respected brothers, start taking responsibility for your gaze.

This perspective is rooted in Islamic teachings, and it is derived from various verses in the Qur'an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). 

Allah SWT states in the Quran:

“O Prophet!˺ Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” - Surah An-Nur; 24:30

The emphasis on men taking responsibility for their gaze is a reminder that individuals are accountable for their own actions and should not blame others for their lack of self-control. This perspective encourages a holistic approach to modesty and personal conduct within the framework of Islamic principles.

AMU continues to evolve as an inclusive educational institution; hence, it is crucial to address the uncomfortable reality faced by female students. By fostering a culture of respect, empathy, and active intervention, the campus can become a space where women can pursue their education without fear or discomfort. The responsibility lies with all members of the AMU community to champion an environment that reflects the values of equality, dignity, and shared progress. Only then can the university truly be a space where all students, regardless of gender, can thrive and excel.

By Nashra Naim | Instagram: @nashraanaim


  1. Indeed there are many misbehaver happing in our campus but You are just seeing from one and more importantly you are giving the reference of Holy Qur'an that's also incomplete please read the next verse also
    Don't act like a hypocrite .

    1. girls wearing Abaya and observing The Hijab have had similar experiences

    2. There is a huge population of Muslim female students who observe hijab properly in the campus, yet that doesn't save them from getting catcalled and harassed. This suggests that the issue lies more with the male side, as they may not be adhering to the commands that been given to them before to women in the Quran. This is precisely what the article highlights and why it has been shared here, let's not misinterpret its purpose and take it otherwise.


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