Recently in London, Sarah Everard was abducted, raped, strangled and killed by Wayne Couzens, a police officer who burned her body before dumping it. He had abused his power by making a false arrest. The London metropolitan police’s (Met) response was inappropriate. During a vigil for the victim, another girl Patsy Stevenson was handcuffed and arrested. She was then approached by 50 policemen on the dating app Tinder. She reached out to the press and these intimidation tactics made international headlines. Ms Stevenson said, “I just want to be able to live the way you live without fear. But then again, I’m a woman. Stop telling women how to change their behaviour just to stay alive.” She did not stop at issuing a press statement. She began litigation against the Met police. A social media buzz was also generated. This was the triumph of the justice system for a female victim who faced predatory male nature and was able to take on the entire police force single-handedly, without needing men to coach her or speak for her. Met Police Commissioner was forced to take action due to the international attention. He confirmed that there would be an independent review of the force’s standards and culture. Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel said an inquiry into the “systematic failures” that allowed Wayne Couzens to continue to be a police officer would be launched. A group of entitled people who respond to rules with cyberbullying showcase everything that is wrong with Islamic religiosity today. This sequence of events empowered women and is a deterrent for any future abuse of power by a law enforcement official. The state’s prompt action is key to delivering social justice and protecting women. It is hence a landmark case and the future judgment would be a landmark judgment, all thanks to society and the system that grants agency to women. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, a woman showed up for Punjab University’s MA examinations, dressed in sleepwear underneath her abaya. Due to the trend of cheating using hijabs and abayas, the male professor cum invigilator prevented her from taking the exams in an abaya. Her husband posted videos about the incident, on a Facebook group, expressing “righteous indignation.” His wife was a niqabi with no voice in her academic matters. She was just peering in for a few seconds in that video. I could not help but think that this is what Pervez Hoodbhoy probably meant when he infamously said that after donning the niqab or hijab, female class participation declines. Her husband asked how could his wife remove her abaya “with so many men around.” This one-dimensional hypersexual worldview is typical of the religiously inclined. It begets the question that what then is the purpose of higher education if a Muslim woman is denied a higher plane of existence through intellectual engagement with her male classmates inside the proverbial “ivory towers of academia” Abaya is a religious innovation or bid’ah, as there is no precedent of it during the times of Muhammad (PBUH) who said, “Every innovation is in the fire.” This innovation is a multi-pronged political tool. It is used to control women and politically rally men. The righteous indignation was all about something that will lead to (hell)fire. However, the husband found kindred spirits in critical mass. These keyboard jihadis wanted to take on academia by even tagging the Jamat-e-Islami, which was a riot in the making. The Punjab University is an esteemed academic institution. The state-subsidised education given by this university is a Godsend. A group of entitled people who respond to rules with cyberbullying–riding the wave of inflamed religious sentiments–showcase everything that is wrong with Islamic religiosity today. Firstly, why are hijabis and niqabis cheating in exams to merit the implementation of such rules related to dressing Why has religiosity not taught them superior ethics when honesty is a fundamental tenet of faith Secondly, why has heightened and overt religiosity led to social conditioning whereby a woman is supposed to be invisible and voiceless in her matters Allah SWT gave her legal personhood. If she cannot put together a coherent argument and communicate it to the concerned authority, how would she practice the rights which Allah SWT gave her And does a niqab exempt a woman from needing to be properly dressed inside her university. Religious innovations have led to religious teachings which infantilise, sexualise and objectify women; subverting their intellectual potential. I was surprised to see many women defending the stance of the husband, saying that he was her guardian and hence rightfully presenting her case. To that I say, a state-subsidised university should not waste precious and scarce resources on someone who self-identifies as a minor. Such women can pursue degrees at private universities to fulfil their desires. The social media engagement objective was to nurse a bruised ego. They wanted to religiously bully an academic who was only doing his job so that academia should bow down in fear of their lives. The right response would have been to follow the university’s rules and learn a lesson about dignified dressing. There was no need for social media engagement. A make-up exam request would have solved the matter. However, conforming to rules, respecting academics, avoiding drama and allowing a graduate student to conduct her affairs with dignity was too much to ask. The hoopla on social media was thankfully short-lived. A lone non-Muslim western woman can sue the entire police department of a city like London and garner solidarity based on principles-staking her claim on moral high ground. She can thus initiate a landmark case. A Muslim woman, however, was literally and figuratively trapped in her abaya. The writer is an independent researcher, author and columnist. She can be reached at email@example.com.