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Published in the 1-15 Mar 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

REJOINDERS

All India Muslim Personal Law Board

The Milli Gazette Online

I agree with your view (MG, 16-28 Feb. 05) that all schools of thought in the Muslim community of India should have adequate representation in the Board. Also there should be adequate representation for Muslims from south India.
However, if AIMPLB does not increase the number of Indian Muslim women in the membership of both the Board and its Executive Committee, to a level (say 1/4th in each), it will be difficult for the Muslim community at large in India to accept the AIMPLB edicts as fair. Surely there are many learned Muslim women who are very well informed in matters of law; are judges, lawyers and professors of law. Why is it that Ms Fatima Beevi, a former judge of the Indian supreme court is not being included in the Executive Committee of AIMPLB? Just like her, there are many learned Muslim professors of law in the universities in India. And they are all pious, practicing Muslims (not rabblerousers). Why are they not being inducted in AIMPLB?

Unfortunately AIMPLB has increasingly become the bastion of Urdu speaking Muslim males, mostly from north India. In the last 40 years Muslim women in India as a whole have made much progress in various academic fields. Educated Muslim men in India must recognise this fact and give due respect to their own women. They should speak out and make Muslim bodies like AIMPLB include qualified women in their decision-making core, on the basis of their abilities. It is the basic Islamic right of Muslim women (that Islam granted them) to have adequate representation in organisations that make decisions that affect their lives.

When there is so much guidance in Quran and Hadith, and so many Muslim countries have reformed the triple divorce practice, why is it that in India alone this abusive practice that is so harmful to women continuing?
Recently in looking at the names of the Presidents (equivalent of VC) of the top universities in US, I found that of the top five universities (Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Stanford), the Presidents of two (MIT, Princeton) are women (who are distinguished academics).

Kaleem Kawaja <kaleemkawaja@hotmail.com> 

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