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Muslim Women in India Retaliate against Triple Talaq Practice

The rate of divorce in Indian Muslim society is still very low and the issue is being blown out of proportion by some “anti-Muslim” forces, said Asma Zehra of AIMPLB

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Muslim brides wait for the start of a mass marriage ceremony in Ahmedabad, India. Image source: prothom-alo.com
  • According to Islamic law, husbands can divorce their wives just by uttering the word ‘talaq’ thrice
  • This law has been condemned by many organizations, and even BJP leaders
  • Triple Talaq has been abolished in many Muslim countries, but not in India

After receiving a letter out of nowhere from her husband, which read the words, ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’, 25 year old Afreen Rahman began the uphill battle to demolish the unjust Muslim law which allows a man to divorce his wife by simply repeating the word, ‘talaq’, thrice.

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Thousands of other Muslim have to suffer the same injustice across India when their husbands decide to stop taking ownership and simply ask for a divorce instead of discussing problems. Even though this practice and the tradition of polygamy is not allowed by law in all of Hindu-majority India, things work a little differently in the Islamic community.

“I have moved the court because I don’t want any Muslim woman to go through the pain, torture and humiliation which I have gone through”, says Afreen.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board is the legislative body that governs these matters for the 180 million people that live in India. This Board will oppose the law in court. However, this seems ironic, since the Board itself has declared that the triple talaq rule is non Quranic and called it haraam (forbidden). Despite this, it has passed a unanimous resolution urging the government to not interfere in its internal matters.

muslim women in India. Image source: ndtv.com
Muslim women in India. Image source: ndtv.com

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“We indeed condemn this practice. But AIMPLB being a moral body, it has no power to ban the practice. It can only advise or educate people against resorting to such practice”, says Asma Zehra, a member of the AIMPLB.

The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, an organization that fights for Muslim women’s civil rights, found that 92 percent of Indian Muslim women wanted triple talaq banned. The Andolan has recorded instances in which Muslim marriages have been dissolved by the most trivial means, like WhatsApp or Facebook conversations. Apart from this, several leaders of the ruling BJP Party have been fighting to establish a single civil code that would govern the entire population of India on a secular basis. They feel the current state of affairs is very unfair and demeaning to Muslim women in India.

Hilal Ahmed, an assistant professor at New Delhi’s Center for the Study of Developing Societies, is also highly skeptical of this practice. He feels that if the Muslim Law Board can issue fatwas to ban use of mobile phones during religious proceedings, laws can be bent for the well being of Muslim women too.

“How can a practice that is patently unjust be Islamic?” asks Javed Anand, general secretary of the group Muslims for Secular Democracy while talking to Religion News. “I hold the AIMPLB guilty of perpetuating patriarchy and injustice against women in the name of Islam.”

According to Professor Tahir Mahmood, the custom of triple talaq has been long abolished in many Muslim countries, and he feels it is not right that the custom still exists in a secular country like India.

-prepared by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter Handle: @saurabhbodas96

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Article 30 Has Harmed the Constitutional Equality of Citizens: Vijayvargiya

Vijayvargiya believes that Article 30 has harmed the spirit of equality guaranteed in the Constitution

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Vijayvargiya
Vijayvargiya said that Article 30 has harmed the spirit of equality guaranteed in the Constitution. Wikimedia Commons

Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has raised questions over Article 30 of the Indian Constitution which provides the minority community the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

Vijayvargiya said this Article has harmed the spirit of equality guaranteed in the Constitution.

Kailash vijayvargiya online
“When our country is a secular one, what is the need of Article 30.”, Vijayvargiya tweeted. Pixabay

Vijayvargiya tweeted: “Article 30 has harmed the constitutional equality of citizens. This Article allows the minorities to propagate their religion and education based on religion, which is not allowed to other religions. When our country is a secular one, what is the need of Article 30.”

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Article 30 says all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

“The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language,” Article 30 says.

Vijayvargiya’s statement can spark a new debate on the issue. (IANS)

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Author Maria Wirth Shares Her Opinions on The Idea of Hinduism

Author Maria Wirth speaks on Religion, Indian Culture, etc

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Maria Wirth
A picture of Author Maria Wirth. Facebook

By Muskan Bhantagar

Author Maria Wirth belongs to Germany and has been living in India from past 38 years.  She is the author of the book ‘Thank You India: A German Woman’s Journey to the Wisdom of Yoga’. Newsgram gets in a conversation with her over a telephonic interview. Here’s an excerpt:

Muskan Bhantagar: 38 years back when you came to visit india, what was the thing about indian culture or precisely hinduism that made you fall in love with it and stay back in India?

Maria Wirth: Actually, it was not too much India that attracted me. When I was in Germany still i had many questions like i was very much intrested in what is life and what is the meaning of life and I was reading on Buddhism at a time and I was not connecting Buddhism to India strangely, and i knew very little about India. So a friend convinced me to stop over in India and only when i bought a book by Swami Vivekananda, i discovered what great treasure is in India. I had no idea, anything about what Hinduism is about. it’s just what you hear usually in the west, is about caste systems,etc. So I didn’t associate India with anything positive actually and then by chance, I discovered there’s such a great treasure here and it is such a pity that we don’t know about it.

Maria
Maria recalls how initially she could not relate India with anything positive. Pixabay

Muskan Bhantagar: As we read in your articles that Islam and christianity have been promoting and propogating their religion for years now, but the hindus don’t do so. What do you think can be the reason behind this? 

Maria Wirth: Well I think, I was just writing an article I mean when you think how much Hindus have suffered over the last thousand years. So many were beheaded and tortured under the Muslims and then again under the British also. British were also very very brutual, especially after 1857 and etc. And hindus had no way to stand up for their religion. And I think this has gone very deep into the system of Hindus.

And then ofcourse after Independence, this secular education and even Hinduism is now put down even more than earlier. Earlier, education was not so under the Muslims, they had to lie low but they could still have gurukuls and their schools but not now.

So I think one reason is that you have been intimidated so much and also expect so much and like Arun Shourie, in his book he writes that 6th standard students learn in school, etc in Bengal that Islam and Christianity are the only religions which treat the human beings with dignity and equality. I mean such sentences. When you’re a child, it goes into you and then you just look down on it. And I think slowly slowly, even parents of these children say they have been brought up already like this.

Maria
Maria says that Hindus were previously tortured under the Islamic Community. Pixabay

Muskan Bhantagar: A large number of Indians are unaware about their own culture and heritage. What do you think can be a solution to this problem?

Maria Wirth: I mean it should get also in the schools. I was so shocked when I came to know that nothing is taught in Indian schools. Neither Mahabharata, Ramayana, Upanishad. Upanishad is philosophy, there is nothing to do with religion. It was very insidious that the British kind of bend or this stuff from being taught, because it doesn’t help them because it would make people strong. They wanted to destroy Indian sanskriti, Indian culture because it has lot of strength. Now like the young generation in India, they were brain-washed into believing that Hinduism is not worth anything. It’s so wrong, so wrong.

Author Maria Wirth spoke to us over various topics. We’re thankful to her for taking out time to talk to us and share her wise opinions. We hope to get more of her soon and help viewers know her better.

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Is Islamic Law Above Civil Law in Indonesia’s Aceh Province?

Aceh is the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law

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Aceh
Aceh is the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law.

By Kashish Rai

Recently on 21st April 2020, six people were flogged in Indonesia’s Aceh Province for violating Islamic Law in an indoor ceremony which was scaled down due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic.

Aceh is the only region in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law. About 98% of Aceh’s five million residents are Muslims and therefore subject to the law, known locally as Qanun.

The practice of flogging is taken into practice for some actions which are Considered as offences in the region at the tip of Sumatra island, which includes drinking alcohol, gambling, adultery  and having gay or pre-marital sex.

Previously, public caning has been livestreamed and uploaded on the Internet, drawing international criticism.

The public canings in Aceh Province attract a large number of spectators witnessing this pitiable event and taking pictures on their phones, but this time the event had a handful of people there.

Out of the total 6 people who were flogged, one unmarried couple was ferociously punished after they were caught together in a hotel room, while the other four were flogged 40 times each for drinking alcohol.

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You can watch the video here:

The point of the matter is that, even at this crucial time when the world is suffering a global Pandemic, the Aceh Province of Indonesia considers religious law above any other code of conduct! The social distancing guidelines that has been issued globally has become a matter of no concern here.

Aceh
Recently on 21st April 2020, six people were flogged in Indonesia’s Aceh Province for violating Islamic Law in an indoor ceremony which was scaled down due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. VOA

You can see in the video that through many of those watching this brutal act were wearing masks, while the cane-wielding enforcer wears a covering hoodie in any case – but pitifully, not all of the victims had their face covered.

The Rights groups in Indonesia and elsewhere have slammed public caning as cruel, and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has called for it to end, but the practice has wide support among Aceh’s population.

There are many cases associated with this practice of flogging. This video which was released two years back explains the plight of this heinous act where the people get subjected to canning publically.

Watch This Video From 2018: 

There are two questions that come up in the way, well, can we draw a conclusion forth that the Acehan Islamists consider the religion above humanity and human life? Is there no concern left for others’ safety during the time of such a deadly Pandemic?

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At this point of time, any religion shouldn’t be considered above humanity and the dignity and safety of humankind. This practice of flogging is indeed an atrocious act which shouldn’t be given mere importance.  The need of the hour is to ensure others’ safety and not being subjective of what needs to be done for vested interests.