In the press meet, Samastha leaders claimed that as per the tradition of the organisation mature women cannot be called to the dais during a public event.

Samastha Press meet video screenshot
news Controversy Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 19:00

Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama, a body of Sunni Muslim scholars popularly known as Samastha, which is facing criticism for snubbing a girl student, who was called to the stage for accepting a certificate, has justified their act. In a press conference held on May 14, Saturday, Samastha leaders justified the stand of its leader MT Abdulla Musaliyar, who discriminated against a class 10 student, who was invited to the stage to receive her certificate.

In the press meet, Samastha leaders claimed that as per the tradition of the organisation mature women cannot be called to the dais during a public event. Muhammed Jifri Muthukoya Thangal, President of Samastha, said that Musaliyar, who is the General Secretary of the organisation, raised objection to the girl coming on to the stage only because the girl might feel awkward. “He did not behave badly. It was his style to react in such a manner. Samastha is an organisation that gives importance to the education of girl children,” he said. He also said that the girl’s family had no issues and it was the media which made it into a controversy.

Musaliar also gave a list of things he did for the improvement of Muslim girls’ education. In a video that went viral, the Samastha members are seen presenting awards to a boy, after which a girl is invited onto the stage to receive her award. Soon after she received the award, Abdulla Musaliyar was seen airing his irritation.

“Who invited a tenth standard student here (stage)? If you do this again, I will show you. Do not call such girls over here. You don’t know Samastha’s rules? Invite the guardian here. Were you the one who called (her)? Don’t do unnecessary things making us sit here. Won’t this come in photos?,” a visibly angry Musliyar is seen telling the other members, who remain silent for the most part.

Majority of Muslim leaders maintained silence over the issue but the state President of Muslim Student Federation (MSF), affiliated to the Muslim League, voiced his support to the Samastha leader. “It was a private function organised by scholars. It is this group’s discretion to decide whether a girl should be called to the stage. Now he (Musaliyar) is being subjected to cyber lynching,” he said.

This is not the first time that Sunni leaders have expressed their anti-women stance. Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliar, leader of AP Sunni faction, had a habit of making sexist comments.

“Women cannot come in public like men. If women come out there will be destruction and troubles,” Kanthapuram reportedly said in a speech.

He had also said that if women were to govern, the country would collapse and that women’s abilities were in homemaking and parenting. Commenting on women’s dressing he had said that if they dress as per their wish, then they are inviting assaults because it was like keeping the house open and asking not to steal. 

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