The remarks made by senior leader of Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama MT Abdulla Musaliyar, against a class 10 student coming on stage to receive her certificate has drawn wide criticism on social media. The incident took place after the opening ceremony of a madrasa building at Malappuram, when students were being felicitated by the SKJU members. Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama (All Kerala Ulama Organisation), known as Samastha, is an association of Kerala sunni scholars.
In the video that has gone viral since the incident, the members are seen presenting awards to a boy, after which a girl is invited onto the stage to receive her award. Soon after she receives the award, Abdulla Musaliyar - who was standing on the right side of the stage - walks towards the place where the girl was felicitated and reprimands the members for inviting “a girl on stage”.
“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.
Taking a strong stand against this, former national vice president of the Muslim Students Federation, Fathima Thahiliya took to social media and asked if they remember the 16-year-old Safa Febin, who “beautifully translated Rahul Gandhi's speech” during the last Lok Sabha elections campaign. “She is not one child. There are a lot of Muslim girls in our country who present their talents to the world and get applause. They shine in many fields, as judges, IAS and professionals. A community’s leadership should keep such Muslim girls close to the society and should be encouraging them. We should be able to use their talents and skills for the betterment of our community and society. Removing them from stages and insulting them will have far-reaching consequences in society. Those who have had to go through such bad experiences will later start hating religion and religious leaders beware,”(sic) she said.