Cheering the triple ripple
Ulemas, join us or be left behind, says Muslim body saluting triple talaq verdict
THE Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) a reformist, liberal organization, held a press conference yesterday to applaud the Supreme Court’s verdict declaring instant triple talaq invalid. The aim of the meet at Mumbai's Press Club was multi-pronged.
Javed Anand IMSD cofounder said, “Our aim is to applaud a verdict that is against the patriarchal Ulema. It salutes Muslim women for their grit. Most significantly, it breaches the dam of male supremacy.”
Don’t incite, maulana
Firoze Mithiborwala, cofounder, IMSD spoke for all when he said, “We accuse Maulana Mehmood Madani of inviting contempt of court.” The Jamiat general secretary Maulana Mehmood Madani in a statement to the media had said that, “instant triple talaq was still valid as per the Islamic code.”
The IMSD accused Madani of inciting Muslims and at the same time, fuelling Hindutva, because his statement feeds into the stereotype that Muslims have no regard for the law. The panel of speakers, which included the victorious women, invited Ulemas, “to become partners and allies in change.”
The IMSD warned at the same time, “against any attempt to communalise or politicise what is a ‘secular’ verdict.”
Rousing and reforms
IMSD’s Hasan Kamaal added, “When a decision of this magnitude is taken, there may be a few hiccups, but we are happy that instant triple talaq is finished.”
Kamaal added on a rousing note, “It is time for young, educated, middle-class Muslims to come forward and take the reins from these religious leaders. The Muslim Personal Law Board has lost all credibility, it should be dissolved; we do not want them. Madani’s opinion is a personal one, if the SC takes action for contempt, we have no problem with that.”
Suraiya Shaikh of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) said, “Reality is yet to sink in. We think August is a lucky month. Even the verdict giving women equal access to the Haji Ali sanctum sanctorum had come in August.”
Further into the discussion, Kausar Ansari of Awaaz-eNizwan, illustrated how the verdict has had mixed reactions, manifest in ground reality in “pockets like Mumbra, where I hail from.” Ansari added, “When this verdict came in, the atmosphere in Mumbra turned curfew-like. No people on the roads, a heavy police presence.” Yet, Kausar said, “talk to some women and it was evident that they were happy with the verdict. When the implications of the verdict were spelt out, they were elated.”
For Mumbai non-profit Bebaak Collective’s Haseena Khan, “For years, Muslim women have been oppressed and tricked by the deceptive drumbeat of, ‘our religion is in danger’. The triple talaq verdict is historical and humongous. It is the legacy of Shah Bano and many who fought even before her.”
A new dawn
As afternoon turned to early evening, Mithiborwala signed off, “We are on our way to huge reforms within the community. The tide of time can no longer be halted, especially not for the Ulemas who do not believe in reform.” Overall, congratulations flew around like confetti at a birthday party. As the sun streamed in, its brightness was symbolic of the watershed moment, brought about by the tenacity of the ‘women warriors’ at this meet.
Hasan Kamaal, Javed Anand and Firoze Mithiborwala at the conference at the Press Club yesterday.