When a Muslim woman brilliantly defends Muslim Personal Law
New Delhi, Oct 27: "In Hindu society, a woman observes fast for her husband. But in the name of gender justice, I would not ask why only she is fasting for him, why not he for her. I respect her right to religious freedom. It is an article of faith for them. Our religious issues are also articles of our faith. We respect all and we expect the same from all," said Dr Asma Zehra here on Thursday while addressing a press conference.
"We do not want to communalize things. Our country is made of various religious entities. Followers of each religion love their religion more than their life and they practice accordingly. We respect all and we expect from all that justice should be done with us and there should not be any bias," said Asma, Member, Executive Committee of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
The issue of Triple Talaq has also been hotly debated in the media with a number of people demanding the government to sack the provision.
Responding on the issue, Asma first categorically denied that those (Muslim women) who have approached the Supreme Court over the issue are representative of Muslim women. "We want to ask to them: who are their bosses? Which madrasa or Aalim (cleric) is guiding them," she asked and then termed the whole debate over the issue as a manufactured one.
"Triple Talaq is not the issue of Muslims, nor is it that of our country India. This has been raised to malign Muslims and to display that position of Muslim women is very weak. Today we want to tell the country through the media that Muslim women are not weak in Muslim Persona Law. Rather, they enjoy lots of powers and rights in it. Muslim law has given them rights and has provisions for their protection," said Asma, who was accompanied with some other women members of the board.
"It is wrong to say ratio of Talaq is high among Muslims. As per Census 2011, the ratio of divorced, deserted and destitute women is higher among other communities than Muslims," she said.
"In the name of dowry, 26,000 women are burnt in our country every year; From which community are the 90-95 percent of the victims? You all know."
Security of Women
"Rape incident occurs every 15 minutes. Child abuse has a big rate. You all know that security and protection of women is a big issue. All efforts being made for protection of women are unsuccessful. At that time, rather than taking all the sections of society together for protection of women, the government has singled out one community. Are people in other communities not doing second marriage? Are women there getting equal treatment?"
We are ready for a full debate
"If they want to talk about gender justice and gender equality, we are ready for a full debate. We will tell that Muslim Personal Law is completely gender-just and there is no gender bias in it."
The 13th Oct press conference of AIMPLB created a sort of storm in the country and both media and government jumped into the debate.
While speaking to pressmen today, Asma asked if the AIMPLB press conference proved too heavy that all big wigs had to jump into the debate.
"It seems the press conference of our Ulema proved too heavy that Union Minister Venkaiya ji came up saying why Modi ji was dragged in it. Later, two or three ministers came up and spoke on the issue. Then Modi ji himself jumped into the debate and now instructions on the topic are coming from RSS headquarters. Did the press conference of our Ulema prove too heavy that all are coming up and speaking? It seems that the issue of security on the border is no more a big issue and inflation is also not a big issue. Is it the biggest issue that all have jumped into the field," asked Asma.