"Since I didn’t budge, they shouted at me so menacingly that I got scared and thought they might thrash me"

Muslim leader Kanthapuram would not allow women to interview him journos recount experiences
news Monday, November 30, 2015 - 22:09

With Sunni leader Kanthapuram Aboobacker Musaliar in the eye of a storm lately with his many regressive comments regarding women in the recent past, a couple of women journalists have come forward with their horrid experiences while dealing with him.  

"Thirteen years ago, when I was working with Asianet, I had to interview Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musaliar. One of my male colleagues arranged the interview for me. They did not know that a woman was coming to interview the leader. The moment he saw me he said a woman can’t interview him. If it was necessary, then the cameraman could interview him. But I was firm on my decision, later he agreed with a demand that visuals of me sitting with him or questioning him cannot be aired. Since the interview was very topical, we had to telecast it after agreeing to all his demands. But being a woman, I felt ashamed," said Sandhya PP, a journalist.

Safeera Madathilakath is another journalist who seems to have faced a similar experience. She wrote on Facebook, "Some unforgettable incidents occurred during my life as a media professional in Thiruvananthapuram. One such incident was when I went to report on an event attended by Kanthapuram. When I was about to enter the venue, some of his followers rushed to me and said women are not allowed. I tried to convince him that I came for reporting, but they didn’t allow. Since I didn’t budge, they shouted at me so menacingly that I got scared and thought they might thrash me. The men who shouted at me questioned why I had come with mikes instead of sitting at home. I asked why they couldn’t behave properly, to which they called me a curse and for their ustad, girls were haram. Till then, no men had ever behaved so badly to me.”

Kanthapuram has condemned gender equality saying that women are less efficient than men, while also claiming that male-female equality is against nature’s laws.

He remarked, “Gender equality is not possible, it is rubbish. Women are able to give birth to babies and take care of babies very well. Men can't do that. Similarly, only men can become efficient doctors. Is there a woman in the world who can do cardiac surgeries or brain surgeries? Women doctors are very less, and if there are, then they can be gynecologists, physicians or pediatricians, because God has not given them that ability."

He has 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.  

Further, his comments advocating the idea that girls should be married off by the time they are 16 to prevent them from becoming disobedient, were strongly protested by the women in the community.

 

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