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‘All India Muslim Personal Law Board should be abolished for the sake of Muslims’

‘Triple talaq is despicable … All India Muslim Personal Law Board should be abolished for the sake of Muslims’: Taslima Nasreen.

The Supreme Court will begin hearings this month on the legal validity of triple talaq, which the government wants to abolish. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has fronted the debate on triple talaq, while asking for it not to be politicised. Taslima Nasreen, noted Bangladeshi author living in exile in India for over two decades, spoke to Rohit E David on the issue, if the practice is an essential part of Islam and the position taken by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on it.

Rohit E David | TNN | New Delhi | May 5, 2017::

AIMPLB has called for a social boycott of those misusing triple talaq, even while terming it an eligible form of divorce. Your comments?

AIMPLB was forced to take this stand in the face of searing criticism from different quarters for not ending a regressive practice like triple talaq. It wants to save its credibility. So, it asks for a social boycott of people divorcing wives through pronouncement of triple talaq in a single sitting. The decision to ask for social boycott is a slap in their face as it proves that the practice is despicable. But still they don’t want to dispense with it, perpetuating misogyny in the name of religion.

If the law board wanted reform of Islam, it could have done so but it has always opposed reforms. This is nothing more than posturing. The truth is that AIMPLB is full of misogynists and it is an anachronism in a modern secular society which pulls the Muslim community backwards.

Why does triple talaq need to be reformed?

It is an unfair thing for Muslim women because women do not have a similar right to divorce their husbands by saying talaq talaq talaq. The problem is not triple talaq: the real problem is women’s financial dependence on men. If women become educated and independent, talaq or divorce won’t scare them. It is hell for dependent women who won’t find any place to stay or any money to survive.

If several Muslim countries have already removed triple talaq, why can’t India?

Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, Indonesia and Algeria banned triple talaq. Bangladesh banned triple talaq before I was even born. India is not able to do this because of the politics of appeasement. The fear of the minority community can be addressed and they can be assured of their freedom of religion which is guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution of India. Mullahs and maulvis have become self-styled representatives of the Muslim community who keep stoking insecurity. Mullahs are stuck in a medieval mindset blocking progress of their own community.

Is triple talaq an essential part of Islam?

Many Muslim countries have abolished it. I do not think any law or system which reduces dignity of human beings should be essential. Even if triple talaq were an inseparable part of Islam, it should still be discarded because women do not have the same right to divorce their husbands.

What is your response to PM Narendra Modi’s comments that all efforts should be made to provide justice to Muslim women?

I appreciate it. I hope Muslim women would get justice not only in India but all over the world.

They have been suffering for too long. They should take off their burqa, hijab and go to school, college, university and live life as they like. Whoever oppresses women should be heavily punished. Women have to liberate themselves. They cannot expect obscurantist mullahs to emancipate them.

What is your view on AIMPLB?

This is an organisation of Sunni fundamentalists which does not take into its fold Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims. Its duty is to protect Muslim personal laws which are based on Sharia. It supports the antediluvian system of triple talaq, child marriage, and opposes gay rights. It objects to any change in the divorce laws to confer parity to Muslim women. This board issues fatwas against reforms in Islam and all kinds of progressive ideas. The misogynistic law board should be abolished for the sake of Muslims. Muslims need no other laws but modern civil laws based on equality and justice.

SEE WHAT UPANANDA BRAHMACHARI WROTE TWO YEARS BACK:

Ban Muslim Personal Law Board for its anti-Hindu stance and anti-Constitutional stand.

link: http://wp.me/pCXJT-4N0  (June 23, 2015).

Many news and views on AIMPLB. See here: https://hinduexistence.org/?s=AIMPLB .

There is a demand from right wing groups to disband AIMPLB. Your comments?

It is an irony that the demand of abolishing the board comes from Islamophobes whereas it should have come from Indian left-liberal groups. The hypocrisy of left-liberal groups is unimaginable. Instead of supporting Muslim women’s human rights, they want them to suffer under misogynistic religious laws. The marriage between the left wing and Islamists is one of the world’s biggest tragedies. I oppose the right wing but I am for the abolition of AIMPLB.

(This article was originally published in The Times of India in The Interview Blog by Rohit E David).

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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