Muslim body to PM Modi: Focus on education and other basic issues, not triple talaq

Triple talaq and polygamy are practised in Islam since beginning, the government needs to focus on education and other basic facilities.

Instead of raking up the triple talaq issue, the government should focus more on education and other basic facilities to India's "under-privileged" communities, including Muslims, a woman leader of the Jamaat-e-Islamic Hind (JeIH) said on Tuesday.

JeIH Secretary Atiya Siddiqua said a negative image of Muslims - showcasing men of the community as dominant and women as victims - was being portrayed.

Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement asking Muslim leaders not to politicise triple talaq, Siddiqua said that it was the government that was unnecessarily blowing triple talaq and polygamy issues out of proportion.

"These practices have been in Islam since the very beginning. Why was there no hue and cry (about it) so far? Why did this happen all of a sudden?" Siddiqua asked.

"The fact is that the practice of polygamy among Muslims is much more infrequent than other communities and the percentage of divorce is also least among the Muslims."

GOVT ASKED NOT TO INTERFERE IN MUSLIM RELIGIOUS MATTERS

She asked the government not to interfere in Muslim religious matters and termed polygamy as a "divine law and boon for society" because it can give social and financial security to widows and uplift their status.

She said the Jamaat had been conducting a pan-India awareness programme with Muslims over issues like marriage, divorce and inheritance. The 15-day awareness programme ends on May 7.

"During our visit to various slum areas (in Uttar Pradesh), Muslim women told us that the education of their children was their priority. It (triple talaq) is a non-issue. It is being politicised unnecessarily .

"The government should take up issues like education and basic facilities... for underprivileged," Siddiqua said.

She said Muslim clerics have also been advised to deliver Friday sermons related to Muslim personal laws and eliminate misconceptions about it.

Shaista Rafat, in-charge of JeIH Delhi and Haryana women wing, said Islamic laws were "divine and they are for the good of people. Those who say these practices should be abolished are unaware about the Shariah laws."

TRIPLE TALAQ TO BE BANNED

The BJP-led central government has been pushing for a ban on the practice of triple talaq -- verbally divorcing wife by uttering the word "talaq" thrice.

The debate against the practice was fueled when a woman in Uttar Pradesh lodged a complaint against her husband who had allegedly threatened her with triple talaq after she delivered a girl child.

The practice is not followed in at least 22 Muslim countries including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

ALSO READ | Don't wed your daughters in families who practise triple talaq', Jamaat-e-Islami Hind bats for women's rights

ALSO READ | PM Narendra Modi on triple talaq: Muslim community should come forward to protect its women

ALSO WATCH | PM Modi speaks out on triple talaq, says government will find a way to help Muslim women