New Delhi: A Muslim women’s group on Tuesday opposed attempts to impose a uniform civil code but said “a gender just reform” was needed in the Muslim personal law.
Any move to introduce a uniform civil code without taking into account the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion would be wrong, the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan said.
L-R: Dr Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Zakia Soman and Khatoon Shaikh at the IWPC in New Delhi on July 3, 2014 while presenting the Draft Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act.
“Article 25 the constitution gives the right to all, including minorities, to have personal laws based on respective tenets of different religious communities,” the group said in a statement.
“Under this provision, we demand a gender just reform in the Muslim personal law based on the Quranic values of equality and justice, in line with article 25 of the constitution.”
The group pointed out that the Supreme Court observation on the need to bring about a gender just legal framework was not aimed at imposing anything on different communities.
“As per the BJP manifesto, the NDA government wants to impose a family law on all communities with the intention of national integration,” it said.
“It is important to point out that national integration cannot happen by a common family law but by treating all citizens equally.
“There can be no imposition of any kind as this would impinge on the religious freedom and secularism principles enshrined in the constitution. Nor would different socio-religious communities accept this.
“Like all religious majority and minority community in India, Muslims must also have a codified Muslim personal law based on its religious text.
“Just as there is a Hindu Marriage Act for Hindus, just as there is a Indian Christian Marriage Act for Christians, just as there is a Parsi Marriage and Divorce (Amendment) Act for the Parsis, Muslims too should have an amended Shariat Application Act to ensure a law for the Muslim community which is in consonance with the Islamic and constitutional values of justice and equality.”
The group said the recent targeted violence on minorites “have led to an atmosphere of insecurity and deep sense of fear within the Muslim community and amongst all minorities.
“Any talk of a uniform civil code is only adding to the strongly felt sense of hurt and alienation.
“This atmosphere of intimidation does not help the cause of women’s demand for justice at all.
“It appears that for the fringe right-wing groups, uniform civil code is another stick to beat the community with,” the group said.
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