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At BJP national executive meet, PM Modi bats for backward Muslims

Last updated on: April 16, 2017 19:12 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made a strong pitch against the divisive issue of ‘triple talaq’, insisting the exploitation of Muslim women should end and justice be done to them.

He, however, deprecated any attempts at creating a “conflict” within the Muslim community on the issue and suggested tackling it through social awareness.

“He (Modi) talked about social justice. He said our Muslim sisters should also get justice. Injustice should not be done with them. Nobody should be exploited, “Union Minister Nitin Gadkari told journalists briefing about Modi’s address to the delegates at the BJP’s national executive in Bhubaneshwar.

“We do not want that there is conflict within the Muslim community over this issue. What we have to do is that if there are any social evils, we have to wake up the society and make efforts to provide justice to them (Muslim women). That was the PM’s spirit,” Gadkari said quoting Modi.

The PM’s comments came on a day when the All India Muslim Personal Law Board asserted Muslims have a “constitutional” right to follow their personal law of which ‘triple talaq’ was a part.

AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani, however, said the board has decided to issue a code of conduct and warned that those who give talaq (divorce) without following the ‘Sharia’ (Islamic law) will face social boycott.

“A code of conduct for talaq is being issued. With its help, the real picture of Shariat directives will be brought out on the talaq issue. If talaq is given without Shariat reasons, those involved will be socially boycotted,” Rehmani told reporters in Lucknow.

The board is issuing appeals to all maulanas and imams of mosques to read out the code of conduct during Friday ‘namaz’ and emphasise on its implementation, he said.

Though the Islamic law provides for a period of separation between estranged couples before ‘talaq’ is pronounced on three different occasions, husbands have been divorcing wives by pronouncing the word thrice at one go, through postcards, text messages on mobile phones and even Twitter.

The board has made it clear that it will not tolerate any interference in the Shariat laws, and claimed an overwhelming majority of the Muslims in the country do not want any change in their personal laws.

The Union government had on October 7 last year opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.

The ministry of law and justice, in its affidavit, had referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital laws prevalent in various Islamic countries to advocate that the practice of triple talaq and polygamy needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.

In the Supreme Court, where a batch of petitions by divorced Muslim women are pending, AIMPLB had opposed any move to interfere with the Muslim personal law.

The Yogi Adityanath government had recently said it would submit its views on the subject after eliciting the opinion of Muslim women. 

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