Collective of 'Muslims and People of Muslim Descent' Speak Against Triple Talaq

In a statement released by 'Muslims and people of Muslim descent' a clear stand has been made against both the Hindu as well as the Muslim Right.

A collective of “ordinary citizens, artists, intellectuals, writers, poets from the Muslim community” released a statement on October 20, asserting their position in favour of abolishing triple talaq.

They argued that the Muslim community in India is heterogeneous and therefore cannot be represented by any single body that purports to speak for the entire community. This was directed towards the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which has been arguing against the abolition of triple talaq based on the claim that it is un-Islamic. The board also claims to be an authoritative voice on Islamic law in India and has submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court stating its concerns about triple talaq.

The statement also spoke out against the demand for a uniform civil code (UCC), seeing it as a divisive tool that is used to portray the Muslim community as backward. Expressing a lack of faith in the rhetoric of ‘gender justice’ used by the proponents of UCC to further their cause, the statement called out the present government’s somewhat lacking sensitivity towards women’s issues.

The statement issued a clear stand, separating itself from both the Hindu Right as well the Muslim Right.

Read the statement below.

Statement on Triple Talaq and UCC

Released on October 20, 2016 by Muslims and People of Muslim Descent

We, ordinary citizens, artists, intellectuals, writers, poets from the Muslim community, want to emphasis that the Muslim community in India is diverse, plural and heterogeneous. No single organization or group of people/organisations 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:

We are against the instant arbitrary triple talaq as practiced in India and we support the demand of the Muslim women to abolish it.  

The present regime and their earlier avatars have used Uniform Civil Code as a stick to frighten and demonize the Muslim community and polarize opinion by projecting that the Muslims of this country are backward, anti-women and not open to any progressive laws. Uniform Civil Code has been always been projected by such regimes and right wing politics as a Hindu v/s Muslim tool. The fact of the matter is that many of the personal laws irrespective of which religion they belong to are archaic and anti-women.

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).

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.

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 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.

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.

We believe that to suppress the progressive demands for equality, led by various Muslim women’s organizations, the most conservative sections of the Muslim community are creating a Shah Bano campaign like situation so that they can keep the women subjugated and strengthen the patriarchal stronghold on the Muslim women.

We appeal to all liberal, progressive sections of the Muslims as well as all other citizens to support the struggle of the Muslim women for reform and to expose the nefarious designs of both the present regime as well as of the patriarchal conservative Muslims who are colliding with the retrogressive forces to take 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 MuhibMazumder, 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

HajraDarji, 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  

RejinaKhatun (Prof.), Women Rights Activist

RiyazParmar, Social Activist, Rajkot Collective  

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