Mumbai: Justice to Zakia Jafri who lost her husband Ehsan Jafri in 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim Riots and family of Ishrat Jehan who was killed in cold-blooded fake encounter, jobs to our husbands, action against mob lynching, education for all and right to live in India as equal citizens are our concerns, not triple talaq, the Modi government was told on Saturday.
“The government says it is criminalizing triple talaq because it cares for the Muslim women. But, rate of triple talaq among Muslims is abysmally low. Whereas a vast majority of Muslim women are affected because their husbands have no jobs, their children are at risk of mob lynching and their daughters have no access to education”, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Executive Committee Member Monisa Bushra Abidi said while addressing a mammoth protest rally of Muslim women at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan.
“Hence if the government is really concerned about Muslim women, it should give our men folks jobs, our children access to education, and save over children from mob lynching and hate crimes. If the government is indeed serious about the Muslim women it shout without further delay give justice to Zakia Jafri and the family of Ishrat Jahan”, she added.
In her address to the rally called to protest against the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill – popularly known as Triple Talaq Bill, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Spokesperson (women’s wing) Asma Zahra reiterated that the proposed bill is not only against Islamic Sharia but also anti-women and against the Indian Constitution. The bill, which criminalizes instant talaq an offence with 03-year jail term, has been passed by the Lok Sabha but stalled in the Rajya Sabha where the opposition members are demanding amendments.
“Where will the wife find means to take care of the child if the husband is in jail and she has no other source of income?” she asked asserting that the bill is aimed at “pushing Muslim husbands to jail and leaving the poor women and children to begging”.
Arshiya Shakeel, Secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Women’s Wing Nalasopara said while addressing the women who came from different parts of Mumbai to protest against Triple Talaq Bill said that Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) was the first who talked about women’s rights at the time when they were a suppressed lot.
“There are lengthy debates and tall claims over “gender equality”. But, Islam preaches not only for gender equality but also for gender justice. Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) stood against the tyrants and preached for women’s rights when they were treated like animals all across the world", she said.
Warning the Modi government against interfering in the Islamic Shariah and urging the NDA government to roll back the Triple Talaq Bill, she said, “No other religion has given the rights to women like Islam. Along with their rights, Islam has also given them respect and honor – something the world was devoid of before Islam. The government should note that the Muslim women are fully satisfied and happy with the rights of women as defined under the Islamic Sharia”, she said.
Stating that number of abandoned women are increasing in the country day by day, she said, "Any move to interfere in the Islamic divorce law will increase this number even further."
Sumayya Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani while addressing the Muslim women’s protest rally also said that Muslim women are happy and totally safe under the Islamic Law and the government should leave their religious matters to them. “We can tolerate everything, but not interference in the Islamic Shariah”, she said adding that the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill is also against the Indian Constitution.
A four-point resolution expressing opposition to the Triple Talaq Bill and Uniform Civil Code was adopted at the meet by protesters raising hands in support. Later, a delegation went to Raj Bhavan and handed over the resolution to the governor. The governor’s PA received them in his absence.
The Muslim Women’s Protest Rally was supported by all Muslims sects. As the Muslim women gathered at Azad Maidan, AIMPLB Spokesperson Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani, Samajwadi Party Chief Abu Asim Azmi, Ejaz Abdul Quddus Kashmiri, Farid Shaikh, Suhail Lokhandwala, Zahir Kazi and other prominent Muslim community leaders were seen monitoring the arrangement and coordinating with the volunteers.
Similar protest rallies were earlier also organized in Malegaon, Jaipur, Lucknow, Pune, Nagpur, Prabhani, Nanded, Jalgaon, Dhule, Nashik, Patna, Bhopal, Kolkata and other parts of the country. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPB) has also announced a rally in Delhi on April 04.
Besides triple talaq bill, Muslim women are also upset with President Ramnath Kovind over his address to the Joint Session of the Parliament wherein he had said, “For decades, the dignity of Muslim women has remained captive to political cost-benefit. Now the Nation has an opportunity to emancipate them from this situation. My Government has tabled a Bill on Triple Talaq in Parliament.”
“I hope that the Parliament will soon pass it into a law. The law on Triple Talaq, once enacted, will also enable Muslim sisters and daughters to live a life of self-respect with courage”, Kovind had said.
Calling President Kovind’s statements misleading and untrue, Muslim women want President Kovind to take them back and demand from the government to remove them from the Parliament and Rashtrapati Bhavan records.
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