Hundreds of Muslim women rally in support of triple talaq, decry ‘bid’ to dilute Sharia
Hundreds of women gathered under the aegis of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to protest against any move aimed at diluting the Sharia law, which provides for the banned triple-talaq practice, at Iqbal Maidan in Bhopal on Monday.
This move came a day after the Islamic organisation decided on constituting a panel to look into the Supreme Court verdict against the controversial practice. Several AIMPLB office-bearers, including general secretary Syed Mohd Wali Rahmani and women’s wing leaders Asma Zehra and Sufia Hasnaini, addressed the gathering.
The speakers announced that they would seek the signatures of about three crore Muslim women on a memorandum against the Supreme Court judgment, which would then be sent to the Chief Justice of India. They termed triple talaq as a “right” that should not be taken away from them simply because some “uneducated women” had moved the apex court against it.
The AIMPLB, established in 1973, is one of the leading Islamic organisations in the country. It is opposed to any interference either from the court or the government as far as the Sharia is concerned. The board is a party to the petition on triple talaq, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on August 22.
Though the board’s working committee proclaimed its respect for the Supreme Court at a meeting in Bhopal on Sunday, it decried any attempt at interfering with the Sharia law. It then decided to form a committee to check if the judgment was in contravention with the same. The Muslim leaders maintained a similar tone on Monday.
Attacking the NDA government at the Centre, AIMPLB executive committee member Asma Zehra wondered why the central government was trying to interfere only with the law governing Muslims when “women face atrocities and domestic violence in all religions”.
“We feel empowered due to Sharia, and triple talaq is the best way to get rid of a husband if he harasses his wife,” said Dr Sufiya Hasnaini, convenor of the AIMPLB state women’s wing. “We can ourselves bring about any required change by educating people on triple talaq, but we will not allow anybody to change our law.”
Board member KR Sajjad Naumani agreed, stating that it would be wrong to perceive that a majority of Muslim women are against triple talaq.
While AIMPLB general secretary Syed Mohammad Wali Rahmani conceded that triple talaq can be misused, he insisted that it is also effective under certain circumstances. “Any dilution in the Sharia will lead to women being abandoned,” Rahmani said.
However, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan activist Shaista Ali said the Supreme Court judgment would go a long way in resolving the problems faced by Muslim women. “It’s in favour of Muslim women who have long been suffering due to the malpractice of pronouncing the triple talaq in one sitting. The AIMPB’s opposition to the judgment is not surprising, but they have no option but to accept it.”
Though hundreds of women participated in the convention, they were not allowed to share their views with the press. The organisers even announced over the public address system that they should not interact with the media.