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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Triple talaq: Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board slams AIMPLB for opposing bill 

Joining the debate on the triple talaq bill, the president of the women’s board said she would travel the length and breadth of the country to highlight the “real face” of the AIMPLB and its anti-women attitude.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2017 18:20 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
AIMPLB officials during a meeting issue ‘triple Talaq’ in Lucknow.
AIMPLB officials during a meeting issue ‘triple Talaq’ in Lucknow.(PTI FILE)

The All-India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) said on Tuesday that the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), while opposing a proposed bill that criminalises the practice of triple talaq, should not try to blackmail the government by accusing it of interfering in religious matters.

The president of the women’s board, Shaista Amber, said she would tour the country to highlight the “real face” of the AIMPLB and its anti-women attitude.

“Clerics have misguided the community for long by their wrong interpretation of the Quran. At a time when the social media and internet have bridged the divide among the people, it has also brought to light the real meaning of the verses of the Quran which term women equal to men,” Amber, who was in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich, said.

Amber said Muslim clerics were terming the Hindus, who were supporting the women’s cause, as communal but they should remember that injustice would not be tolerated for long.

“Triple talaq is a draconian way to destroy the lives of women and it should be banned as it is un-Islamic. We support the government for bringing the bill as it protects the right of Muslim women, who are treated as slaves by men,” she said.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 criminalises the practice of saying “talaq” three times in one go – done sometimes even over email and messenger service – and imposes a prison term of up to three years and fine on husbands who violate the law.

The proposed bill also “empowers” Indian Muslim women by giving them a larger say in dissolving marriages, giving them custody of minor children and the right to seek alimony from their estranged husbands, according to the cabinet-cleared controversial legislation.

The bill defines triple talaq as “any pronouncement (of divorce) by a person upon his wife by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form, or in any other manner”. It proposes to make the practice a punishable offence and is set to be introduced in the Lok Sabha next week.

She added that the AIMPLB formed in 1972 to solve socio-familial issues in the Muslim community but instead of protecting the rights of women, the board ensured they were not treated at par with men.

“After Saira Bano case, when the government is moving ahead with the bill against triple talaq, AIMPLB is creating hurdles just to give the message to the community that they always oppose the government, which is mostly dominated by leaders of other communities,” she said.

Amber said she met Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a delegation of Muslim women to press for the bill on August 8.

“We proposed punishment and penalty for those who do not give equal right to women. I am thankful to the government for acting on the issue. AIMPLB is opposing the bill and abusing the rights of women,” she said.

Amber questioned the AIMPLB as to why it was afraid of the bill against triple talaq.

“Why don’t they consider Muslim women as equal partners? Why do they want to create a communal feeling among the Muslims when the society is going for reforms? Why are they saying the bill would promote interference in religious matters? Why do they want to protect such men who use women and abandon them at their will?” she asked.

She said Muslim women and educated men were supporting the bill and those misusing triple talaq should not go unpunished.