Women are equally entitled under Article 25 to profess, practice and propagate religion by becoming Qazis and propagate Islam
9th February, 2016
Women and Social organisations of Rajasthan are outraged at the manner in which various individuals and organisations have come out against Qazi Afroza Begum and Qazi Jahanara, who have trained themselves for two years in Mumbai’s Darul Uloom -I- Niswan, and have begun working as Qazis in the city.
We would like to condemn this opposition and attack, which is being led by the All India Muslim Personal law Board, Jamiatul-Ulame-Hind, the Jamait Islami Hind, the chairperson of the Rajasthan Madarsa Board, Anjum Educational Welfare Society, Taiba Social Welfare Society, Chief Qazi of Rajasthan, Jaipur Mufti and others, who have not even spared Nishat Hussien of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Aandolan, who facilitated the training of these women.
The opposition and attack of the two Qazis by the self professed Muslim religious establishment and the various agencies is not acceptable, as women in India of all religions are equal to men under Article 14 and under Article 19 have the right to undertake any religious studies. But it is their right under Article 25 where they are equally entitled to freely practice, profess and propagate their religion, this subsumes their right to choose to become Qazis. How can their right to propagate and practice Islam by becoming Qazis be denied. We would also like to highlight that the religion of Islam encourages diverse interpretation and therefore they too have the right to be Qazis.
We request the above organisations and individuals to stop this opposition and let the two Qazis do their job as it adheres to the fundamental right of equality, freedom of speech and expression and the right to equally practice, profess and propagate religion.
We would also like the media to hold restraint during their broadcast of the viewpoints which are denying this right to the women, as the discussion in some channels went to the point of humiliating the women Qazis as well as the organisation they belong.
|Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shanker Singh||MKSS Rajasthan|
|Kavita Srivastava and Anant Bhatnagar||PUCL Rajasthan|
|Renuka Pamecha||Women’s Rehabilitation Group|
|Mamta Jaitly||Vividha : Women’s Documentatio and Resource Centre|
|Dr. Pawan Surana & Lad Kumari Jain (both former chairperson State women’s commission)||Rajasthan University Women’s Association|
|Nisha Sidhu, Dr. Malti Gupta and Raj Kumari Dogra||National Federation of Indian Women|
|Komal Srivastava||Bharat Gyan vigyan Samiti, Rajasthan|
|Sumitra Chopra and Kusum Saiwal||AIDWA|
|Indira Pancholi, Bhanwari Bai, Karuna||Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti, Ajmer|
|Tara Ahluwalia||Mahila evam Bal Chetna Samiti, Bhilwara|
|Mewa Bharti||Domestic Workers Union|
|Dr. Meeta Singh, Vijay Lakshmi Joshi and Kapil Sankhla||PUCL, Jaipur District|
|Suman Devathia||All India Dalit Mahila Manch, Rajasthan|
|Asha Kalra||Children and woman welfare society|
|Bharat||Vishakha: women’s documentation and resouce centre|
|Anita Mathur and Apurwa||Azad Foundation, Jaipur|
|Shabnam Aziz and Virendra Shrimali||The Hunger Project|
|Narendra||Action Aid Collective|
|Kanchan Mathur and Shobhita Rajagopal||IDS, Jaipur|
|Chhaya Pachauli and Narendra Gupta||Prayas, Chittorgarh|
|Pragnya Joshi||PUCL, Dungarpur|
|Sister Geeta||PUCL, Ajmer|
(President) PUCL Rajasthan