Muslim women from across the country feel secure under the Sharia law and do not want a Uniform Civil Code, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board claimed on Saturday amid a raging debate on the practice of 'triple talaq'.
"It is not the personal law board or the women in it, who are against the proposed Uniform Civil Code, but Muslim women in general in the country do not want it. They feel safe and secure under the Sharia law," Kamal Faruqui, a member of AIMPLB said.
The practice of triple talaq (immediate divorce) is at present the subject of a Supreme Court case, with the Centre and some Muslim women organisations seeking a ban on it on the grounds of being discriminatory to women.
The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board has, in its opposition to the move, submitted an affidavit to the apex court stating that though triple talaq is "undesirable", it is "permissible" in Islam.
The board has already started a signature campaign in support of the practice.
"The campaign has already got support from Muslim women in Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP, Bihar, Delhi, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. And, in many cases, where our members are not there, we are getting good support from them, mostly spontaneous," Faruqui claimed.
Executive member of the AIMPLB, Asma Zehra, said Muslim women from across the country were coming together to demand that the personal law be protected.
"The incidences of divorce in Muslim community is much lower compared to other ones. Also, women have maintenance rights even after the divorce. They can also go for remarriage to begin a new life. The women feel much secure under the Sharia law and do not wish to be governed under a Uniform Civil Code," she asserted.
"We are also getting a good response from women in small villages and cities," she said.
Zehra also hit out at right wing groups for fueling the debate.
"The PM was right when he said this is not a 'Hindu-Muslim' issue. This is an issue created by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. As citizens, Indians need to decide whether we want to follow the Constitution, which gives us religious rights, or some vested saffron agenda," she said.
Meanwhile many women activists have slammed the board for its counter-affidavit, saying the Muslim body has "turned a blind eye" to the plight of women suffering due to this practice.
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, which is one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court against triple talaq, said, "No one can stop the citizen of this country from approaching the court. That is a right Muslim women also have."
Zehra, however, alleged that the groups opposing the practice were "tools of BJP".
BMMA rejecting the charge said, "AIMPLB has been completely obstinate and there is no point talking to bodies like these."