Women against triple talaq RSS stooges, need DNA test: Ulemas
In a meeting of different Ulema associations held in Ghanchi Jamatkhana of Mumbai on Monday, attendees slammed the media, and said the members of the Law Commission of India (LCI) and Muslim women fighting against triple talaq were RSS stooges.
The meeting was held to publicly support the stand of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which has appealed to the community to boycott the questionnaire sent by the LCI on Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Those in the meeting did not even spare women and other members of the community who are against triple talaq.
“Some TV channels are talking about UCC like this is the biggest issue affecting the entire country and there is no other issue. They call such people on TV shows that are not adept at defending the religion,” said Maulana Naeem Akhtar.
Slamming the women from the community, some questioned the hiring of lawyers to fight their case. “They hire non-Muslim lawyers. Had the lawyer been Muslim, he would have never have gone against Sharia,” said one.
Taking the argument forward, Maulana Khaleel Noorie said, “RSS mahila tanzeem is issue ko raise kar rahin hain (Women affiliated with RSS organisations are raising these issues). They do not know Sharia and are only into aisho-aaram (leisure).”
Ulemas even questioned the urgency with which the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the issue. “There are so many Gau Rakshaks and other issues. Why does the Supreme Court have to take suo motu cognisance only in this case? There are more divorce cases in Hindu communities compared to Muslims,” said Nawaid Hamid, one of the speakers and President of Mushawarat, a body formed to oppose the UCC.
Ulemas also blamed shortcomings in their own measures for the issue to come up. In Bihar, the Shariat is taken to masses and there are few cases that reach court due to that, said one. Another said that those who do not read Namaz five times a day and spread red carpet for Taslima Nasreen and Salman Rushdie are talking about faults in the religion. “There is an attempt to defame Islam through women. In fact, the kind of rights Islam has given, no other religion has,” said Salim Akhtar, one of the speakers.
“The government should also tell what they will do about the tax benefits given to Hindu undivided families,” Hamid added. He further demanded that the government should first say that they are withdrawing an affidavit sent by the Deve Gowda government to the SC that no interference will be allowed with personal laws of the communities.
Abu Asim Azmi, Samajwadi Party leader in city, said, “The court has justified reservation to Muslims but they are not giving that. Even we should show our strength on the road, like Marathas. They have implemented Suryanamaskar. How can a Muslim worship anyone else other than Allah?”
“I would say that Muslim women who have gone to court are not Muslims. A DNA test should conducted to see if they are Muslims. They government is trying to hide its failures by bringing up these issues,” said Maulana Syed Khalid Ashraf, one of the prominent speakers.
Meanwhile, responding to Ulemas’ comments, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) co-convener Noorjehan Safia Niaz said, “That we are RSS stooges is nothing new. What is their contribution to the community? Their demand for a DNA test only shows that they are pathetic and sick.”
Why no Bill against alcohol?
In a press conference held on Monday, the All India Muslim Majlis-E-Mushawarat, a group that claimed to have support of all Muslim denominations against UCC, said that there are other issues that take prominence in Directive Principles.
“Why does the government not want to bring a Bill on alcohol? That is affecting women in the worst ways. No party can get it because they get funds from them,” said Navaid Hamid, President of All India Muslim Majlis-E-Mushawarat. He further said, “They should also say what their members in Akali Dal and PDP have to say. The Law Commission questionnaire targets Muslims. It is a divisive tactic.”
Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan speaks out
Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which is fighting a case to ban triple talaq, will continue to fight for eradication of these “unQuranic practices”, through their petition in the Supreme Court and in partnership with all democratic institutions. We will rope in the Muslim community by getting more women and men to support abolition of triple talaq in an informed and educated manner.
We condemn the attempt to politicise the debate by mixing up of abolition of triple talaq with the Law Commission’s move, seeking views from the public on Uniform Civil Code (UCC). These are two separate issues and should not be treated as similar. Triple talaq needs to be abolished on an urgent basis even as deliberations on/opposition to UCC goes on. This practice takes place without any Quranic sanction and causes tremendous hardship and suffering to Muslim women, whereas UCC is a much larger question concerning all Indian citizens, irrespective of their faith.
We condemn the efforts by some patriarchal bodies to misguide the Muslim community on the issue of triple talaq by showing them the fear of UCC and the fear of attack on Sharia and Muslim identity.
Rather than such unethical fear-mongering, we believe they should exercise their democratic right to voice their opposition to the UCC by informing the Law Commission of India about their reservations or apprehensions.
After all, the Law Commission is only seeking the views of citizens. The real concern is how do we translate the fundamental principle of gender justice enshrined in the Quran into the lives of ordinary Muslim women? The real concern is to give women protection from triple talaq and halala. We demand an end to both these on an urgent basis.
In the long run, we have to codify the Muslim personal law with clearly laid down provisions on age of marriage, divorce procedure, mehr amount, no triple talaq, no polygamy, guardianship and custody of children to both parents, women’s share in property, registration of marriages, etc. Just as other communities – Hindu, Christian, Parsi – have their own codified laws that regulate matters in marriage and family, Muslims, too, are entitled to it. It is the Constitutional mandate of the Parliament and all elected representatives to bring about such a law.