The Khuran Sunnath Society, which has questioned the validity of many religious practices observed by Muslims, has said that it will take legal action to defeat the move to lower the marriage age for Muslim girls. It was a retrograde step that would take the community back into the sixth century, society office-bearers said at a press meet on Tuesday.
The leaders said the interest shown by the religious heads to lift the ban on child marriage was meant to deny Muslim girls their legitimate right to higher education. Condemning marriage between immature adolescents — which the religious leaders wanted to facilitate — as anti-Koran and anti-national, the leaders said they had decided to launch a State-wide campaign against the move to get exemption for Muslims from the provisions of the Child Marriage (Prevention) Act that banned marriage of girls below the age of 18 years.
“The move is to win over Arabs and make money… It is surprising that even the Muslim Educational Society, led by Fazal Gafoor, is backing this move. The fact is that no organisation can claim to be the lone and only representative voice of Muslim community. Giving girls in marriage without their consent amounts to harassment and persecution of women. This move is also aimed at the Muslim vote bank. The Khuran Sunnath Society would lead the resistance against this move,” said the spokesmen for the society that was once led by Islamic scholar Chekannur Maulavi who disappeared under mysterious circumstances years ago.
Special Correspondent writes from Thiruvananthapuram:
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president M.M. Hassan on Tuesday said the Congress did not agree with the opinions of Muslim religious scholars on reducing the marriage age of girls belonging to the community. Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Hassan that fixing the marriage age as 18 was not against the Muslim Personal Law.
Reducing the marriage age will only retard the social and educational progress of the community.