The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), a women's group, plans to write to the state authorities over the restricted entry to women at dargahs in the city.
A group of women from the organisation had visited the Haji Ali shrine in August. The ban over the entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum triggered their survey. Of the 20 city dargahs visited in September, seven did not allow women near the grave.
"When we asked with the trustees, we were told that the decision was taken after the authorities noticed that a woman came inappropriately dressed last year," said Noorjehan Safia Niaz, founder, BMMA.
The dargah trustees said that the decision at the Haji Ali dargah was taken almost seven years ago.
"Eventually, this will be done in every dargah, as the Sharia law claims that no woman can visit a cemetery or a grave," said Suhail Khandwani, trustee of the Haji Ali dargah and managing trustee of Mahim's Makhdoom Shah Baba's Dargah, where religious leaders have been educating women visitors about the law.
"We will write to minorities minister Arif Naseem Khan, the state minorities commission and the trustees of Haji Ali. They need to take steps to curb such a regressive trend," said Niaz.
"Managements can't run dargahs according to their whims and fancies," said Hasina Khan, Awaaz-e-Nizwaan, an NGO.
If you keep indulging religious fanatics in the name of secularism, stuff like Haji Ali ban on women will only rise.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) November 6, 2012
Banning women from entering Haji Ali is unacceptable and Shameful. And the Trustee is not a Cleric but a known Criminal Lawyer. More Shame— Abdul Wadud Aman (@AmanWadud) November 6, 2012
Not allowing Women to visit Haji Ali is a regressive step. Liberal Muslims must rise to oppose it. Can't allow Talibani thought in India.— digvijaya singh(@digvijaya_28) November 6, 2012
Women who're not allowed to enter the dargah should just stay put at Haji Ali Juice Center & down milkshake after milkshake. Much MOAR fun!— wastrelette (@wastrelette) November 6, 2012