National

‘We will continue to defend triple talaq’

Kamal Farooqui  

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) says it will continue to defend triple talaq, though the Union government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Friday against the practice.

Speaking to The Hindu, AIMPLB member Kamal Farooqui said the government’s affidavit was filed without taking into account the Board’s views, despite it having written to both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Ministers concerned.

“We don’t claim to represent all Muslims, but we do represent some. We wanted our views to be taken on board, and yet we are not surprised that they weren’t,” Mr. Farooqui said.

He said the BJP-led government was using the personal law to run its “own agenda” against the Muslim community. “The affidavit will be firmly contested by us, it is against the Constitutional rights accorded to us, the Supreme Court has no power to legislate on religion. There are at least two statutes that allow application of Shariat,” he said

‘Islam empowers women’

On whether the AIMPLB was contravening the rights enjoyed by women in other communities by opposing the abolition of triple talaq (done by other countries), Mr. Farooqui said it was a specious argument to cite feminism. “Divorce or talaq is one of the most undesirable of acts mentioned in the Koran, it is not to be easily allowed. Islam is the first institution to bestow women the freedom of walking away from a marriage if they cannot cope with the relationship. It is a contract and women can, if they want, stipulate that the man may not have powers of pronouncing suo motu divorce. Such a provision [to do away with triple talaq] is present in the Nikahnaama,” he said.

Muslims, he said, were being unduly treated by the government that turned a blind eye to the personal laws or religious observances of other minorities.

“There are many minority communities that have naked sages, that may be in contravention of obscenity laws in the country, but we all maintain a respectful silence because it pertains to matters of faith. I am proud of being part of a country that allows this,” he said.


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