The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has condemned the threats issued to Rajya Sabha member Javed Akhtar, who is also on its Board of Directors.

Mr. Akhtar, who received the threats through e-mail, had challenged a recent fatwa of the Darul uloom, Deoband, against Muslim women working with men.

In a statement, CJP secretary Teesta Setalvad said: “The CJP stands for basic democratic rights of all individuals as also of the minority within the minority, women of ethnic and religious minorities. The right to freedom of movement and work is a basic right of an individual as also of all Muslim women. Across the world, millions of Muslim women are visible in the workplace. In India too, Muslim women are present in all walks of life.”

The statement said:

“As an active founder-trustee, Mr. Akhtar has been, as all others on its Board, a part of the CJP's collective efforts to ensure justice to the victims and punishment to the perpetrators of the Gujarat 2002 carnage. He has spoken out often against the politics of hatred and intimidation.

“The CJP believes that all threats of violence and aggression are threats to an individual's liberty and basic human rights, also guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. Intimidation and threats, whether they come from spokespersons of the so-called majority or minority, are equally condemnable.

“The CJP is fully behind Mr. Akhtar, who is also the president, Muslims for Secular Democracy, and his views that oppose a retrograde worldviews and support the basic rights of Muslim women.”

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