Listen to this article:
New Delhi: Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) has condemned Iran’s “authoritarian laws and their murderous enforcement”, saying it is “inhuman and barbaric to kill a fellow human being merely for not covering her head”.
A 22-year-old Iranian young woman Mahsa Amini died in the custody of police, allegedly due to wounds she sustained after the police thrashed her for taking off her head cover. Several protesters demonstrating against the murder in a peaceful manner have also been killed.
IMSD said that in this epochal moment, “the Indian clergy and conservative Muslims in general that support mandatory head covering for Muslim women, citing the principle of right to choose attire, must be questioned whether they support Iranian women’s ‘right to choose or refuse head coverings’?”
“It will be hypocritical of all those who tom-tom this liberal democratic argument that ‘forced removal of burqa, naqab, hijab is against the basic human rights of a woman’, but who do not come forward in support of Iranian women of different faiths who are forced to cover their heads in consonance with Islamic Shariah practices of Iran. It is to be noted here that in Iran the rule of mandatory head covering is applicable to Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” the statement, signed by 95 people, said.
The collective called upon Indian civil society to “challenge the hypocrisy of those religious power elite” who choose the liberal principles of the Indian constitution as per their “fundamentalist and misogynistic conveniences” while remaining tight-lipped when these principles are “flouted against the progressive aspirations of the citizens in Islamic States”.
The complete statement and the list of signatories are reproduced below.
“IMSD strongly condemns the repressive Iranian regime, questions the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy in India”
Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) strongly condemns the Iranian State’s obscurantist, authoritarian laws and their murderous enforcement, as also the denial of the citizens’ right to protest. In this third decade of the 21st century it’s inhuman and barbaric to kill a fellow human being merely for not covering her head.
At the same time, we question the hypocrisy of India’s Muslim clergy in not supporting the Iranian women’s right to choose, an argument it puts forward in the context of the ongoing hijab controversy in India.
The world is witnessing a horrendous turn of events in Iran where State atrocity has caused the custodial murder of a 22-years-old young woman, #MahasaAmini , just for taking off her head cover.
No less shocking is the fact that those protesting the murder by peacefully defying the mandatory head covering are being subjected to violence, humiliation and arrests on the streets by the police.
The news and real time videos coming from Tehran and other parts of Iran are heart wrenching. However the heart-warming aspect of these protests is the active support of young Iranian men who are opposing both archaic traditional practices and State atrocities.
In this epochal moment, the Indian clergy and conservative Muslims in general that support mandatory head covering for Muslim women, citing the principle of right to choose attire, must be questioned whether they support Iranian women’s ‘right to choose or refuse head coverings’?
It will be hypocritical of all those who tom-tom this liberal democratic argument that ‘forced removal of burqa, naqab, hijab is against the basic human rights of a woman’, but who do not come forward in support of Iranian women of different faiths who are forced to cover their heads in consonance with Islamic Shariah practices of Iran. It is to be noted here that in Iran the rule of mandatory head covering is applicable to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
IMSD calls upon the civil society in India to challenge the hypocrisy of those religious power elite who choose the liberal principles of Indian constitution as per their fundamentalist and misogynistic conveniences while they remain tight lipped when these principles are flouted against the progressive aspirations of the citizens in Islamic States.
Akbar Shaikh, Indian Muslims Secular Youth Movement, Solapur
Amir Rizvi, IMSD, Designer, Mumbai
Anjum Javed, Delhi
Anjum Rajabali, IMSD, Film writer, Mumbai.
Ali Bhojani, IMSD, Mumbai
Alok Sheel, retired IAS, Delhi
(Dr) Anthony P. J.
(Dr.) Anuradha Chenoi, Delhi
Anurag Chaturvedi, senior journalist, Mumbai
Arif Kapadia, IMSD, Business, Mumbra
Arshad Alam, IMSD, Writer, Columnist, Delhi
Asha Puri, Delhi
Ashhar Khan, Jaunpur
Asiya Shervani, Hyderabad
Askari Zaidi, IMSD, Senior Journalist, Activist, Mumbai
Dr. Azeez Pasha, Hyderabad
Deepak Sanon, retired IAS
Dipak Malik, Varanasi
Dipak Roy, Delhi
Feroz Abbas Khan, IMSD, Theatre & Films Director, Mumbai
Feroze Mithiborwala, Co-convener, IMSD, Mumbai
(Dr) G. G. Parikh, Freedom fighter, Mumbai
Ghulam Mohiuddin, USA
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Writer, Teacher, Researcher in Culture, Media & Islamic Studies
(Prof.) Girija Gupte, Feminist, Mumbai
Guddi S. L. , Activist, Mumbai
Harsh Kapoor, Independent researcher, Editor, France
Irfan Engineer, IMSD, CSSS, Mumbai
(Dr.) Jamsheed Rizwani, France
Javed Akhtar, IMSD, Poet, Film Writer, former MP, Mumbai
Javed Anand, Convener, IMSD, Mumbai
Jyoti Badekar, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Panvel
Kanhaiya Lal Sharma
Kasim Sait, IMSD, Businessman, activist, Chennai
Kishor Jagtap, Ganai Cultural Movement, Kalyan
Kusum Verma, Varanasi
Madhu Prasad, IMSD, retired professor, activist Delhi
Mahabub Shaikh, Indian Muslims Secular Youth Movement, Bengaluru
Mallika Sarabhai, activist, Indian classical dancer, actress, Ahmedabad
Mandita Mitra, Delhi
Medha Patkar, NAPM Convener, Mumbai
Mohammed Imran, USA, Delhi
Prof. Mridula Mukherjee, Delhi
Muniza Khan, IMSD, Social Activist, Varanasi
Nandita Sehgal, retired IAS
Naseeruddin Shah, Actor, Mumbai
Neelima Sharma, Theatre, Delhi
Nihar Bhattacharya, Varanasi
Nirmala George, Delhi
Persis Ginwala, Ahmedabad
Pratibha Shinde, Lok Sangarsh Morcha, Jalgaon
(Dr) Ram Puniyani, Author, activist, Mumbai
(Dr.) Qaiser Shameem, Delhi
Ritambhara Shastri, Delhi
Rooprekha Verma, activist, former vice-chancellor Lucknow University.
Sabah Khan, IMSD, Parcham, Mumbai/Mumbra
Sadique Basha, IMSD, Activist, Mira Road, Thane
Saif Mahmood, IMSD, Lawyer, Supreme Court, Delhi
Sandip Pandey, Political activist, Lucknow
Sarita Sabiruddin, USA
(Dr.) Satish Mishra, Delhi
Satya Narayan Sahu
Satyen K Bordoloi, IMSD, Copywriter, editor, Mumbai
Shabana Azmi, Actor, former MP, activist, Mumbai
Shabana Dean, Naturopath, Mumbai
Shafat Khan, IMSD, Writer, Mumbai
(Dr) Shanawaz Alam, IMSD, Asst Professor, Sultanpur
Shalini Dhawan, Designer, Mumbai
Shama Bano, Varanasi
Shama Zaidi, IMSD, Documentary Film Maker, Mumbai
Shamsul Islam, Author, Delhi
Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, IMSD, feminist writer, research scholar and a senior journalist, Delhi
Shikha Sen, Delhi
Smita Salunkhe, Vidyarthi Bharti, Kalyan
Subhashini Ali, CPI(M), AIDWA, Kanpur
Sujata Bhattacharya, Varanasi
Sultan Shahin, Editor-in-chief, New Age Islam, Delhi
(Dr.) Sunilam, former ex-MLA, activist, Indore
Sunita Vedantam, Delhi
Taizoon Khorakiwala, IMSD, Businessman, philanthropist, Mumbai
Teesta Setalvad, IMSD, CJP, Mumbai
Tushar Gandhi, Author, activist, Mumbai
Vasanthi Raman, Retired professor, Delhi
Vibha Wahi, Varanasi
Vibhuti Narain Rai, IMSD, retired IPS, writer, commentator, Noida
V.K. Singh, Varanasi
Vimla Chand, Sydney
Yashodhan Paranjpe, social activist, Mumbai
Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj Abhiyan, Delhi
Zakia Soman, BMMA, Delhi
Zeenat Shaukatali, IMSD, Islamic Scholar, Wisdom Foundation, Mumbai