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Ignore anti-women fatwas: AIDWA

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The All-India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) has appealed to Muslim men and women, as well as the electorate, to ignore "anti-women and undemocratic" fatwas (religious edicts), asserting the community should safeguard democratic rights.

"Such fatwas have been given in the past and treated with the contempt they deserve," an AIDWA statement said here on Friday.

It described as extremely objectionable a recent fatwa issued by the Darul-Uloom of Deoband (since withdrawn) seeking to restrict the rights of women contesting elections and announcing that if they were chosen leaders of any nation or community it would be disastrous.

The fact that many Muslims were taking advantage of reservation for women in local bodies was welcome and circumscribing their participation in public affairs in the name of religion should be opposed, said Subhashini Ali, AIDWA president.

Such fatwas were issued "against the interests of poor Muslim women."

"We should not forget that Bhopal was ruled by a succession of Begums who were not only extremely efficient rulers but also enjoyed the support of the Muslim clergy," the statement said.

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