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Muslim Women in India feel secure under Sharia Law and do not want Uniform Civil Code, says AIMPLB

AIMPLB has submitted an affidavit to the apex court stating that though triple talaq is "undesirable" and according to Islam it is "permissible"

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A woman wearing burqa. Wikimedia
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New Delhi, Oct 29, 2016: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) claimed today that Muslim women in India doesn’t feel insecure under the Sharia law and therefore they do not want a Uniform Civil Code. The statement came amid a raging debate on ‘triple talaq’ practice.

“It is not the personal law board or the women in it, who are against the proposed Uniform Civil Code, but Muslim women in general in the country do not want it. They feel safe and secure under the Sharia law,” Kamal Faruqui, a member of AIMPLB said to PTI.

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According to PTI report, the issue of immediate divorce or the triple talaq practice is at present the subject of a Supreme Court case and with the Centre, and some Muslim women organisations are seeking a ban on the practice on the grounds of being discriminatory to women.

In its opposition to the move, AIMPLB has submitted an affidavit to the apex court stating that though triple talaq is “undesirable” and according to Islam it is “permissible.”

The Board has already started a signature campaign in support of the practice.

According to PTI, Faruqui claimed, “the campaign has already got support from Muslim women in Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP, Bihar, Delhi, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. And, in many cases, where our members are not there, we are getting good support from them, mostly spontaneous.”

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Asma Zehra, an executive member of the AIMPLB claimed that Muslim women from across the country were coming together to demand that the personal law will be protected and they have no issues following the Sharia Law.

According to PTI report, Zehra also asserted that “the incidences of divorce in Muslim community is much lower compared to other ones. Also, women have maintenance rights even after the divorce. They can also go for remarriage to begin a new life. The women feel much secure under the Sharia law and do not wish to be governed under a Uniform Civil Code.”

“We are also getting a good response from women in small villages and cities,” she said.

Zehra also hit out at right wing groups for fueling the debate.

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She further added, “the PM was right when he said this is not a ‘Hindu-Muslim’ issue. This is an issue created by the RSS. As citizens, Indians need to decide whether we want to follow the Constitution, which gives us religious rights, or some vested saffron agenda.”

On the other hand, many women activists have slammed the board for its counter-affidavit, saying the Muslim body has “turned a blind eye” to the plight of women suffering due to this biased practice.

Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which is one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court against triple talaq, said to PTI, “No one can stop the citizen of this country from approaching the court. That is a right Muslim women also have.”

However, Zehra alleged that the groups opposing the Triple Talaq practice were “tools of BJP”.

BMMA rejecting the charge said, “AIMPLB has been completely obstinate and there is no point talking to bodies like these.”

– prepared by NewsGram Team with PTI inputs.

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Muslim women can now travel for Haj without Mahram

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1300 applicants after the new rule came in. Wikimedia commons
1300 applicants after the new rule came in. Wikimedia commons

In India, earlier it was mandatory for Muslim women to travel with mahram if they wanted to go for Haj. However, now Muslim women aged above 45 will now be allowed to go for the pilgrimage without ‘mahram’ in a group of at least four.

“1300 Muslim women have applied to perform Haj without ‘mahram’ and women from different parts of the country from Kerala to north India, have expressed their wish to go for the Haj pilgrimage,” said PM Modi on Mann Ki Baat.

A five-member panel

Earlier too, Centre had recommended women above 45 years to embark on haj pilgrimage in a four-member group without a male relative.

A committee was formed by Union ministry of minority affairs to review the existing haj policy and suggest a framework for new rules for 2018-22. It listed several recommendations which included permitting women to go for the pilgrimage without a male relative.

1.4 lakh people from India participate in Haj every year. Pixabay
1.4 lakh people from India participate in Haj every year. Pixabay

Controversy

In his last Mann Ki Baat address of the year on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to Muslim women, highlighting his government’s attempt at facilitating women’s travel for Haj pilgrimage without a male companion.

“For decades, injustice was being done to Muslim women but there was no discussion on it. Even in many Islamic countries, this practice does not exist,” the PM said.

“Our Ministry of Minority Affairs issued corrective measures and we eased this restriction by phasing out a tradition that had been in practice for the past 70 years,” Mr. Modi pointed out.

However, many claims that these rules are made by Saudi Arabia, not the Indian Government.

“It is the Saudi Haj authorities that have allowed any Muslim women above 45 years from any country without a Mehram to do Haj. It does not behoove the PM to take credit for what a foreign govt has done,” said AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

Saudi Arabia had updated the rules on haj back in 2015, as their embassy website shows.