Adding to the efforts aimed at easing out gender bias in Islam, a Pune based couple has moved the Supreme Court seeking to declare prohibitions on the entry of women in mosques as illegal and unconstitutional. The PIL filed by the couple is scheduled to be taken by the Supreme Court today.
#rightlog update: Muslim couple approaches the Supreme Court seeking entry of women into mosques, challenges gender segregation.
— rightlog.in (@rightlog_in) April 15, 2019
Yasmeen Zuber Ahmad Peerzade and Zuber Ahmed Peerzade, the couple who filed the PIL claimed that the prohibitions violate Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 and 29 of the Indian Constitution.
“Like men, women also have the constitutional rights to offer worship according to their belief. At present, women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations, while they are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction.”
The couple also claimed a number of women have been stripped off their fundamental rights and were in no position to approach the court in that respect. “The alleged act of prohibition of entry to mosque is violation of constitutional and fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution as there cannot be any discrimination based on caste, sex and religion,” said the petition.
The petitioners also gave reference to Masjid-al-Haram considered the most sacred mosque in Islam, that it does not discriminate based on gender.
“Also, there is complete unanimity in the Muslim community on the Masjid-al-Haram in Mecca being the most sacred mosque to all Muslims in the world; every able bodied Muslim is required to visit it at least once in his lifetime. The Masjid-al-Haram in Mecca has always invited Muslim women from every part of the world to pray in it. It does not discriminate between men and women simply because any such discrimination would have violated the Quran”.
It is also submitted by the petitioners that the Legislature has failed to ensure the dignity and equality of women in general and Muslim women in particular.
“Despite the observations of this Hon’ble Court for the past few decades, Uniform Civil Code remains an elusive Constitutional goal that the Courts have fairly refrained from enforcing through directions and the Legislature has dispassionately ignored except by way of paying some lip service”.
Union government and Ministry of Minority Affairs, the Central Wakf Council, Maharashtra State Board of Waks and All India Muslim Personal Law Board have been arraigned as parties to the case. For which the Supreme Court has also issued a notice to the stakeholders.
The petition filed in SC by a Pune based couple also seeks direction to declare the prohibition on entry of Muslim women into mosques in the country “illegal and unconstitutional” as it violates of women’s fundamental rights. https://t.co/Mn7gWTmBXV
— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 2019
The petition also referred to the Judgment of the Supreme Court on Sabarimala Temple, however fine lines separate the cases by huge degrees. “The only reason we may hear you is because of our judgment in the Sabrimala temple case,” the bench said.
BIG development in the #RightToPray campaign!
Supreme Court agrees to hear a Muslim couple’s plea seeking entry of women into Mosques.
“We will hear you because of the Sabarimala judgment” says Supreme Court
— Nalini 🌼 (@nalinisharma_) April 16, 2019
#rightlog update: Supreme Court agrees to hear the Muslim couple's plea seeking entry of women in mosques.
"We will hear you because of the Sabarimala judgement," says the Supreme Court.
— rightlog.in (@rightlog_in) April 16, 2019
Sabarimala verdict where the case was with respect to traditions of a single shrine, In Sabarimala shrine, Lord Ayyappa, the deity being a ‘naishtika brahmachari’ (eternal celibate). Naisthaka bharmacharya requires the deity to avoid any contact, even visual contact, with the women of childbearing age. Hence there was a tradition in temple, in which women used to avoid going in the sanctorum of the shrine. This petition filed by the couple, however, aims at abolishing the practice which is rampant in Sunni mosques throughout India. Sunni mosques allegedly deny entry to women solely on the basis of gender with no traditional or cultural precedent backing their actions. However, more liberal sects of Islam do not discriminate on the basis of genders.
Over the past few years, India has been seeing a sharp surge of legislation promoting gender equality in Islam. Triple Talaq Bill, which criminalized instant divorce, saw a lot of resistance from the Islamic bodies and is considered a huge step forward in preserving rights and dignity of Muslim women, who were subjected to skewed religious practices even today.
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