• Statement on Triple Talaq and UCC by Muslims and People of Muslim Descent

    October 26, 2016

    Amrita Sher-gil, 'Three Girls' / via oldindianarts.in

    October 20, 2016.

    We, ordinary citizens, artists, intellectuals, writers, and poets from the Muslim community want to emphasise that the Muslim community in India is diverse, plural and heterogeneous. No single organisation or groups of people can claim to speak on behalf of the whole community. Muslims and people of Muslim descent living in India follow different customs and celebrate a large number of festivals, some common to all, and some different from each other depending on the local cultural practices of the region where they reside. They speak different languages and engage at multiple levels of the thought process.

    We, the undersigned Muslims and people of Muslim descent, want to unequivocally state the following:
    1.  We are against the instant arbitrary triple talaq as practiced in India, and we support the demand of the Muslim women to abolish it.  
    2.  The present regime and their earlier avatars have used the Uniform Civil Code as a stick to frighten and demonise the Muslim community and polarise opinion by projecting that the Muslims of this country are backward, anti-women and not open to any progressive laws. Uniform Civil Code has always been projected by such regimes and right wing politics as a Hindu v/s Muslim tool. The fact is that many of the personal laws irrespective of which religion they belong to are archaic and anti-women.
    3.  We do not have any faith in the sudden found "love for women" and "gender justice" as articulated by Venkiah Naidu recently. Since the new regime has come to power we have seen heavy budget cuts on schemes for women, we have heard horrendous statements about women which have gone unopposed by the members of the regime, and we have witnessed growing violence against women as well as dilution of gender just laws such as the Domestic Violence Act (section 498A).
    4.  We do not believe that in a country with over 4500 communities and over 400 spoken languages, uniformity or tweaking of present unequal laws can ensure equality for men and women.
    5.  We believe that social change is a slow process for which conditions on the ground need to be created where people have basic needs of housing, employment, food and good education. There is a need to first bring in progressive, gender just enabling laws which can be accessed by people from all religions. We have a Special Marriage Act under which people from any community, or across religious communities and castes can marry each other. People have a choice to opt for the Special Marriage Act (which is also being diluted by various right wing state governments by adding caveats to it). Similarly, JJ Act has now provisions for people of any religion to adopt a child whether their personal laws allow it or not. More such laws which give equal rights to women in property and matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance, custody of children etc should be brought in.
    6.  We also strongly disapprove of the highly objectionable affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board regarding the triple talaq matter.
    7.  We believe that to suppress the progressive demands for equality, led by various Muslim women’s organisations, the most conservative sections of the Muslim community are creating a Shah Bano campaign like situation so that they can keep women subjugated and strengthen the patriarchal stronghold on Muslim women.
    8.  We appeal to all liberal, progressive sections of Muslims as well as all other citizens to support the struggle of Muslim women for reform, and to expose the nefarious designs of both the present regime as well as the patriarchal conservative Muslims who are taking the attention away from the most important issues and the failures of the present government on all fronts.

    Endorsed by:

    Abadan Khan (Dr.), Academician
    Abbas Shamael Rizvi, Filmmaker
    Abdul Daiyan, Social Activist, Bihar
    Abdul Hamid Paramanik, Social Activist 
    Abdul Mannan (Prof.), Academician, Assam
    Abdul Muhib Mazumder, Former Advocate General, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
    Abdul Salam (Prof.), President, Justice and Equity Demand Committee, Assam
    Abdul Salam, Social Activist, Assam
    Abdur Rahman Sikder, Lawyer, Gauhati High Court., Assam
    Ahij Uddin Seikh (Dr.), Educationist, Assam
    Ahmad Cameron (Dr.), Canada
    Ahmar Raza, Scientist
    Ali Javed (Prof.), Academician 
    Amir Rizvi, Communication Designer , Mumbai
    Anowar Hussain, Social Activist, Assam
    Areeb Rizvi, Researcher
    Arshad Ajmal, Social Activist, Bihar
    Asad Ashraf, Journalist
    AsadHaider Zaidi, Co-Founder #ShoulderToShoulder Movement
    Asma Faheem (Prof.), Academician
    Ayesha Kidwai (Prof.), Academician
    Azima, Gujarat
    Bismillah Diwan, Social Activist 
    Dilawar Saiyad, Lawyer 
    Ehtasham Khan, Journalist
    Farhin Mirja, Young Activist, Gujarat
    Farrukh S. Waris (Dr.), Academician, Mumbai
    Farzana, Mahila Patch Work Professional, Gujarat
    Gauhar Raza, scientist, poet, filmmaker
    Haji Altaf Hussain, Social Worker, Gujarat
    Hajra Darji, Social Activist, , Gujarat
    Hanif Mastaque Ahmed (Prof.), Academician
    Huma Nizami, Academician
    Iftikhar Alarm, retired professor, Aligarh
    Iqbal Ahmad, Journalist
    Irfan Engineer, Social Activist, Mumbai
    Jaffer Latief Najar, Researcher, Mumbai
    Juned Khan, Educator & Social Activist
    Kamrjahan Shekh, Social Activist, Gujarat
    Kaneez Fatma, Academician
    Karima Pathan, Social Activist, Kutch , Gujarat
    Kashif Ahmed Faraz, Social Activist, Youth Awakening Movement
    Kausarali Saiyad, Social Activist, Hamari Awaz Ahmedabad 
    Keramat Ali Seikh, Prominent Writer, Assam
    Maimoona Mollah, Women Rights Activist
    Mariam Fozia Rehman, Lawyer 
    Matiurehman, Academician
    Md Zakir Hussain, Journalist
    Mehvash Haider, Medical Doctor
    Mohammed Hisham, Technologist
    Mohd Altamash, Student Activist
    Mohd Arshad, Media professional
    Mohd Shahid (Prof.), Academician
    Monis Shamsi, Educator, Social Entrepreneur & Activist
    Naaz Raza, Social Activist
    Nadeem Hasnain (Prof.), Academician
    Nagma Shaikh, Women Rights Activist, Karnataka
    Najema Shekh, Social Activist 
    Najma Rehmani, Academician, Delhi
    Nasiruddin, Journalist, Lucknow
    Nasmeen Shekh, Social Activist
    Naved Azam, Lawyer
    Nizamuddin Khan, Social Activist
    Noorjahan Diwan, Women Rights Activist , Gujarat 
    Noorjanah Ansari, Women Rights Activist, Niswa, Ahmedabad 
    Nusrat, Social Worker 
    Ovais Sultan Khan, Social Activist
    Parvin Shekh, Social Activist, Banaskantha 
    Qamar Fatima, Social Worker 
    Rashida Ansari, Social Activist Janvikas Ahmedabad 
    Raza Haider, Social Activist
    Rehana Pathan, Junagadha 
    Rehana Shekh, Dist. Surendrnagar  
    Rejina Khatun (Prof.), Women Rights Activist
    RiyazParmar, Social Activist, Rajkot Collective  
    S. Irfan Habib (Prof.), Academician 
    S.Q. Masood, Social Activist, Hyderabad
    Sadia Sohail, Development Professional
    Sahba Farooqui, Women Rights Activist
    Sahir Raza, Filmmaker, Mumbai
    Sakil Shekh, Social Activist
    Sania Hashmi, Filmmaker
    Sarifa Chhipa, Social Activist 
    Sayed Shaad, Journalist 
    Seema Cheepa, Social Activist , Ahmedabad 
    Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist
    Shahin Ansari, Ahmedabad 
    Shakil Kapa, Youth Activist 
    Shamsul Islam, Author & Dramatist.
    Shareef Mohammad Khilji, Engineer
    Sheba Geroge, Social Activist
    Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, Islamic Feminist & Writer
    Shehla Hashmi, Potter, Theatre
    Shehnaz Rathod, Social Activist, 
    Sohail Hashmi, Journalist & Filmmaker
    Sultan Ali Ahmed (Dr.), Educationist
    Syed Tanveer Nasreen (Prof), Academician, Kolkata
    Uzma Mollah, Mediaperson
    Vahida Nainar, Women Rights Activist, Mumbai
    Yasmin Qureshi, Himatnagar
    Yaquta Contracor, Prof Executive
    Zamser Ali, President, BTAD Citizen Rights Forum, Assam
    Zulaikha Jabin, Social

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