‘Women need not participate in CAA protests like men,’ Aboobacker Musliyar stokes row

The Islamic leader added that women could come forward and show their support to the anti-protest if such a situation arose in the future. His comments have sparked a controversy.
‘Women need not participate in CAA protests like men,’ Aboobacker Musliyar stokes row
‘Women need not participate in CAA protests like men,’ Aboobacker Musliyar stokes row

Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliyar, the Grand Mufti of India, stoked a controversy on Monday after he expressed his sexist views on women protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act. 

“Women need not shout slogans, raise clenched fists and get on the streets to protest like men. If a situation arises where women need to show their support (against the anti-CAA movement), then they can come forward and do so. Otherwise they need not come to the fore,” Aboobacker Musliyar told Asianet news from Kozhikode. 

A notable Islamic scholar, writer, educationist and President of the Islamic Community of India, Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliyar is a much respected leader from the Islamic community, hailing from Kanthapuram in Kozhikode. 

Several women activists have now reacted to his comments against womens’ participation in anti - CAA agitations. 

“Scores of women are coming out and leading protests, waiting for nobody’s permission. This has not happened before. Moreover, the protests that we are seeing now are a matter of existence. Be it Kanthapuram or anybody else, coming out against these strong women who stand up for their community is like to cutting down the branch of the tree that they are sitting on,” writer and activist CS Chandrika told TNM. 

Every since the anti-CAA protests were launched, several women, both young and old, have emerged as the face of the protests across the country. 

In December 2019, Ayesha Renna, Ladeeda Farzana and Chanda Yadav emerged as the fiery leaders of the Jamia Milia Islamic fraternity’s protests against CAA, after they stood up to the police who were chasing down students and beating them up. 

In January 2020, a bleeding Aishe Ghosh, President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) emerged as the iron willed face of dissent.

Since December 15, scores of women of the Shaheen Bhagh neighbourhood have not left the streets, showing remarkable courage and resolve to oppose the ruling government and the CAA. The women of Shaheen Bhagh have inspired scores of their contemporaries in different parts of the country to take to the streets and agitate. 

Samastha should unite

Speaking about the anti-CAA agitations, Aboobacker Musliyar, who is the general secretary of the All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama said that that both Samastha factions of the outfit should come together and fight against the CAA. It’s two major factions are AP and EK, both of whole use the name Samastha. While the EK faction supports the Indian Union Muslim League of IUML, the AP faction, which Kanthapuram is part of, supports the ruling Left Democratic front of LDF. 

“Both factions have to unite and fight against the CAA. You are seeing the beginning of that happening now. Those opposing the unity of the two factions are fading away,” he says, adding that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s actions to protect constitutional values of the country was being accepted by everyone in Kerala. 

Aboobacker Musliyar also added that there were several people who were attempting to destroy the unity of Kerala’s people. ‘We must take care not to fall into that trap. Instead, we should march  forward with unity.”

When asked why he was soft on the ruling BJP government and if it was because he had Islamic institutions in BJP ruled Gujarat, he replied, “I have religious institutions not just in Gujarat but across India. I have maintained good relationships with the Prime Ministers of India. During PV Narasimha Rao’s tenure (1991-1996), I shared a good relationship with him. I also share a good relationship with Prime Minister Modi. We have been saying that this law they have passed is wrong and we are continuing to say that,” he said. 

He also added that he did not intent to criticise the government but rather, to disagree with the opinion the government  held on CAA.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute