January 14, 2017 3:23:05 am
SHAHI IMAM of Tipu Sultan Mosque in Kolkata, Maulauna Noor-ur Rahman Barkati, on Friday claimed women would be respected if they wear veil. Speaking to mediapersons in Kolkata, he added: “If they (women) are sexy, then they will attract more eyes and will be victims of men’s hawaz. Like Rajasthani women use veil, Bengali women wear saris and Muslim women wear burquas, veil will make them respectful.”
He added that by “sexy”, he meant “attractive”. “Young women are very innocent. They don’t understand that men see them as objects of lust. By following our culture, they will be able to protect themselves properly.”
Watch What Else Is Making News
Getting embroiled in controversies is nothing new for Barkati. Last month, he had issued a fatwa, offering a reward of Rs 25 lakh to anyone who will “cut off Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s beard, shave his head and smear him with black ink”. The move came against the Centre’s decision to demonetise old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Barkati had issued the fatwa at a meeting chaired by the ruling Trinamool Congress MP Idris Ali. He had also recently told Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah at a television debate that he “would be beheaded”.
Barkati had famously solemnised the marriage of a boy and a transgender in 2010 and courted controversy. Later, he had claimed that it was a conspiracy hatched by those who wished to malign him. In 2013, he had spearheaded a campaign demanding the ban on Bengali serials scripted by Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen. During the 2014 Lok Sabha and again in 2016, he had aided Trinamool Congress in mobilising Muslim voters on behalf of the party.
But despite controversies, sources said Barkati would be “utilised” by Trinamool to campaign for Samajwadi Party in UP for the February-March Assembly elections. “He has his own followers… While he often gets embroiled in controversies, he is a very popular figure among the conservative Muslims in Bengal, UP and Bihar. It is likely that he will campaign for Samajwadi Party against the BJP in UP,” said a source.
In the past, Barkati has repeatedly claimed that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is the “most secular leader” in India, urging Muslims across the country to elect her as the PM. “Muslim votes in Bengal are said to be around 30 per cent. But in reality, its close to 40 per cent… elections in Bengal are always decided by the minority vote. This Barkati knows. He gets police protection from Kolkata Police, and though Mamata Banerjee had at times asked him to rein in his comments, he knows he can get away with it,” said a source.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.