Misbah Syed, a Canadian-Pakistani MBBS student at the Khyber Medical College (KMC) in Pakistan’s city of Peshawar, was harassed and manhandled by a male faculty member, according to local news.
Misbah held a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club on 17 December, demanding an end to discrimination against women who wear a veil.
“I stand for all students who wear a veil. They should not be treated the way I was by Dr Raheem Bangash for wearing one,” she said.
The two apparently fought over Misbah contesting college elections for the female representative seat. The teacher, she said, asserted that girls standing for the position should not be wearing a veil to ensure better communication between teachers and students.
She alleged that Bangash slapped her and kicked her out of class as he lost his temper during the argument.
“The episode lasted 25 minutes and I was crying. He slapped me and kicked me. Those who usually protect me, my brothers, were back home in Canada,” Misbah Syed said. She maintained that video footage of the incident was in her possession.
She also alleged that female students veiling themselves and males sporting beards were discriminated against by some teachers during oral examination.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information, Shah Farman, ordered the formation of a committee to dig deep into the issue. According to faculty members, the committee has already recorded statements from both sides and will submit its report soon. Furthermore, Dr Bangash has been suspended and his entry into the college has been banned.
Such treatment of anyone is abominable, but in this case, it is also a bit complex as Khyber Medical College, and indeed most of the colleges in the conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, welcome the covering of female students.