The Shiv Sena,on Monday, came out in support of lyricist and Rajya Sabha MP Javed Akhtar, who is facing threat from hardliners after he criticised the fatwa issued by Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband against working Muslim women.
In its mouthpiece Saamana, the party showered praise on Akhtar and his one-time partner in script writing Salim, who together wrote a number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed films in the 1970s and 80s. "Here is a true Muslim," reads the headline of the editorial, which says Javed has given an apt reply to the fundamentalists in the community and "respected the sentiments" of Muslim women.
"Both Salim and Javed have always raised voice against fanaticism among Muslims...Javed has received threats after he commented on the fatwa and called those issuing it stupid and 'insane', but he is not the one to be scared by such threats," the editorial said. "We wish him well in his mission," it said.
The editorial also praises Salim, saying that he and his family are "completely secular", and reminds the readers that he too had slammed Muslim clerics for their opposition to 'Vande Mataram' sometime back. "What are Muslim women supposed to do if they are not to get education, not to work ? Only progressive people like Salim-Javed can lead Muslims from darkness to light, from Jehad to patriotism," it said.