The lone Muslim minister in UP government, Mohsin Raza, on Friday slammed All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) for opposing the Bill against instant triple talaq, saying the Board is an “NGO which can give suggestions but cannot interfere in the matters of Sharia or the Constitution”.
Hours after Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 Thursday, AIMPLB voiced reservations over its provisions, saying it will take steps through democratic means to “amend, improve or scrap” the Bill. It claimed that the Board should have been taken into confidence on the issue.
Raza told The Indian Express, “AIMPLB member Asaduddin Owaisi was shouting in the Parliament against the Bill… AIMPLB is a social sector organisation.. an NGO… which should be working for the welfare of Muslim women, for education of Muslims… but they would not do so as educated people would not believe them.”
He claimed that confusion is being created by suggesting that instant triple talaq is part of Sharia. “Triple talaq is not part of Sharia… it has been accepted as an evil by the Supreme Court as well. Even Islamic countries across the world have not accepted it. Be it talaq or namaz, they are all titles, which hold no significance till the procedure set out for them is adopted.”
“Thus, for all those who are against the Bill, if merely uttering talaq thrice can break a marriage, then reciting ‘nikah, nikah, nikah’ should mean that the wedding has been solemnised… and simply saying namaz three times should mean that prayers have been offered,” the state Waqf and Haj minister added.
Maintaining that AIMPLB should focus on welfare work, Raza said: “They cannot interfere in the matters of Sharia or Constitution. The Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha as per law. They can give suggestions like others, but it is not fair to become so rigid…” He said those opposing the Bill are aware of the facts, but the “Muslim community was being misled for the sake of votebank politics”.
Attacking Opposition parties, he told PTI: “Opposition should first say on what basis the AIMPLB should have been made a stakeholder while finalising the draft of the Bill… Opposition parties are always eager to take undue advantage of casteist and communal sentiments. They point fingers at us and accuse the BJP of being a communal party. In fact, the remote control of AIMPLB is in the hands of the Opposition, who have been baffled (by the Bill).”
“Please try to think why the BJP or PM Narendra Modi had to take an initiative and draft such a law in the first place. What was the need to do so? You call Modi anti-Muslim. If the AIMPLB thinks for the well-being of the community, it should list welfare works it had done for Muslims since its inception… AIMPLB, in the garb of welfare, talks about exploitation even today. Triple talaq is nothing but exploitation of hapless women.”
He alleged that it was because of AIMPLB and the Congress that Muslim women had to suffer for the last 30 years. “It was a historic day for Muslim women and the Prime Minister should be thanked for it,” he told The Indian Express.
“Muslim women have been dominated for ages by Muslim men… Why in the 1985 Shah Bano case, when the Supreme Court pronounced a judgment, they (AIMPLB) pressured the then Rajiv Gandhi government and the judgement was ultimately reversed? This resulted in Muslim women facing hardships since 1980s, and the AIMPLB and Congress are responsible for it,” he told PTI.