Pakistan-born Canadian writer and commentator Tarek Fatah on Saturday said shariat, which is made by men, should be rejected as a source of public laws.
“If you accept it as a public law, you’re finished,” Fatah said at an interactive session on the second day of the Indore Literature Festival.
He was commenting on a query on the raging debate in India on triple-Talaq, which allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by pronouncing the Arabic word for divorce thrice.
The Supreme Court is hearing three petitions against the triple talaq as many Muslim women in recent years have approached the judiciary against the practice. The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre said it is steadfast on its stand that ‘triple talaq’must go.
But many influential Muslim organisations, including The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) accused the government of creating an “internal war” by trying to review the community’s personal laws on divorce and polygamy.
“People who want Islamic laws can go to Syria, Somalia and Nigeria,” he said, adding in a fight between Allah’s Islam and Mullah’s (fundamentalists) Islam, the former will win.
In his address, Fatah said it is imperative for India to identify who its civilisational enemies are without which it cannot face hostile neighbours.
“Pakistan is not a state. Difference between India and Pakistan is that latter worships army and death while India worships money. You (Indians) don’t know about your country, your heroes like king Dahir (last Hindu ruler of Sindh) who protected Prophet Muhammad’s family and resisted Arab invasion to India,” Fatah said.
“You couldn’t even build a statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Delhi who resisted Muslim attack,” he remarked and questioned that how many affluent people in India send their sons to defence forces. “You will not find any of their sons in the frontlines at a battle field,” he said.
Responding to another query, he said 95% of Muslims of Deoband, Bareli,Patna, Bombay, Madras voted for Muslim League leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah for creation of Pakistan. “They butchered this country (India) and stayed back to get Haj subsidy,” he added.
Adding that India is in a state of war with Pakistan since 1947, Fatah said India should scrap Indus Water Treaty and lend recognition to Balochistan’s freedom struggle to hit back at Pakistan.
Asked to comment on some Indian writers’ decision to return awards protesting growing intolerance in the country, he said the Indian mindset that those leaders who speak good English, Urdu can only be good rulers must be defeated.
He claimed that the country’s “so-called elite” are unable to accept that a tea-seller assumed the position of India’s Prime Minister.
On demonetisation, he said it was “unpardonable” that some bank managers are involved in swindling of new currency notes.
The Canadian writer further blamed Indian bureaucracy for creating hurdles in project implementation.