Taking potshots at women, noted Kerala Islamic Sunni group leader Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliar who seems to have made a habit of making sexist comments, has said that women are less efficient than men.
His pearls of wisdom did not stop there. Musliar also added that if women were to govern, the kingdom would collapse. He further added that women’s abilities were in homemaking and parenting.
The comments are not surprising as this is not the first time Kanthapuram has condemned gender equality. Earlier he had supported RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat claiming that male-female equality is against natural laws.
He had also commented on women’s dressing saying that if they dress as per their wish, then they are inviting attacks on them because it was like keeping the house open and asking not to steal.
After that, his comments advocating the idea that girls should be married off by the time they are 16 to prevent them from becoming disobedient, was strongly protested by the women in the community.
Following that may be for the first time, a group of women from the Muslim Community strongly protested against its religious leaders and burned the effigy of Kanthapuram in 2013.
Last October, he strongly condemned women contesting in elections declaring that it is a taboo for Muslim women.
Some facts that Kanthapuram should know about and help improve
More than 3000 child marriages happen in a year in Kerala.
Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) survey conducted in 2012 says that of the total 2,740 child marriage cases, 2,338 incidents are reported from the Muslim community in Kerala.
Recent media reports say that the number had considerably increased by now.
The officials who are in charge to prevent child marriages have expressed their helplessness on many occasions, as these religious leaders refuse to cooperate.
Though a certain number of women from the community were able to break the shells of conservative guidelines issued by these religious leaders, a large chunk of them are still trapped inside it.
What does Islam say?
“The pursuit of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim, man and woman”, said the Prophet.
Scholars explain this verse that education and learning are religious duties and are equal for both men and women.
There are many historical references that at the beginning of the Islamic tradition, Muslim men or women chose to join the Prophet’s army to fight against his enemies, leading the wars after his passing. Women could take part in social, political and military affairs.
It is also recorded in Islamic history that whenever Fatima, daughter of the Prophet entered the room, the Prophet would stand and give his seat to her, in respect.
Moreover under the laws ofIslam, women have obtained the right to sell and buy properties, own business, take legal actions, vote, and participate in political affairs.
So where do these other laws preached by religious leaders come from?