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Why was the Muslim Personal Law Board’s Women’s Wing suspended?

The rift may be the result of dissensions over the hijab ban and other political issues. Huda Rawal, 39, donated with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s women’s sect in her free time up until last month.

Reaching out to Muslim women, particularly those from depressed backgrounds, the Patna education and child counsellor would hear to their difficulties in their particular and connubial lives. She would bandy problems with further seasoned women’s sect members and come up with results.

All of it has suddenly ended

On 11th October Asma Zehra, convenor of the women’s sect, entered a letter from Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, general clerk of the board. The letter instructed the omission of the women’s sects social media accounts and its suspension. The letter said, “It will be suspended until rules are developed. Zehra left the board’s working committee a week later, citing unfair treatment as her reason. She continues to serve on the board, nevertheless.

Rawal was shocked upon returning to Patna

The letter shocked me,” she remarked. “I was unable to comprehend how or why this choice was made. It was an independent decision. Whether it has been entirely wound up or suspended for some time is unclear to us.

The board had to repeat that it was simply a temporary measure as members of the community, including activists and women who are on the board, erupted in anger.

According to Kamal Faruqui, an executive member of the board, “given the absence of norms and regulation, our sisters were unaware of the limitations within which to work.” “Unfortunately, their actions and statements occasionally went beyond those boundaries. The women’s wing cannot behave in a way that goes against the beliefs and principles of the board because it is not an independent organisation.”

With Karnataka’s decision to outlaw the hijab in educational institutions earlier this year, the division between the board and the women’s wing became apparent. The two argued on how far they should become involved in the dispute.

However, it indicates a deeper dispute over the authority of the board. The majority of personal legislation that affects women, according to Zehra, have been discussed with the women’s wing. The board resisted taking sides in other political conflicts, like as the ban on the hijab or the “Bulli Bai” and “Sulli Deals” applications’ satirical online sales of Muslim women.

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Ban on the Hijab

There was a heated debate that bordered on violence as Karnataka tried to outlaw the hijab for women and girls who are teaching or studying in schools and universities. Students who supported them and Hindu right-wing organisations heckled girls who were wearing the hijab. Before entering campuses, Muslim professors were required to remove their abayas and hijabs, which was seen on camera.

The government’s ban was maintained by the high court in March, which ruled that it did not interfere with fundamental religious activities. Others countered that it was about individual rights rather than religious practise.

Faruqi believes that the debate over the hijab ban should have been handled carefully. “We had advised everyone to observe caution on hijab since it was a sensitive matter and we did not want to take the agitational route,” he said. However, some of his sisters had a different approach that was against the policy.

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Faruqi said that if the board protested in favour of the hijab, they faced the risk of “becoming ensnared” in a divisive argument.

Board members who were women dissented. “A critical issue that should have been handled proactively,” they claimed of the hijab ban. They believed they ought to have backed the ladies who asked the court to overturn the ban.

As important as a mosque, the hijab, added Zehra. The board “should have stepped up to help the girls when they went to court, but they did not demonstrate any kind of activism.”

She mentioned that she had written a letter to the board and other Muslim organisations in February pleading with them to support the schoolgirls who were subject to the hijab ban.

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