Lucknow: Shia leader Kalbe Jawwad`s remarks
on participation of women in politics on Saturday stirred a hornet`s
nest with Muslim women and clerics saying these were against
the teachings and principles of Islam.
Jawwad had said in Allahabad yesterday that instead of
becoming leaders and politicians, women should perform the
task for which they have been sent by the almightly -- to give
birth to good leaders.
Denouncing the statement, Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali,
Niab Imam of the Idgah and a member of the All India Muslim
Personal Law Board, said it had nothing to do either with
Shariat or Islam.
"Islam does not discriminate between men and women," he
said terming the remarks as unfortunate.
To reinforce his point, he said Muslim women had played
an important role in the freedom struggle and in the task of
Shaista Amber, president of the All India Muslim Women
Personal Law Board, expressed surprise over the statement and
cited the example of Shia-dominated Iran where women had been
participating in every sphere of life.
"In Pakistan and Bangladesh too, women have been taking
part in politics and public life in a big way," she said.
"The Prime Minister of Bangladesh is a woman while the
assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto was also a woman
though Pakistan is a theocratic state," Amber said.
"Islam even permits women to come out and earn their
livelihood if the situation so warrants in an honest and
legitimate manner," she said
The reservation in state legislatures for women should
not be limited to 33 percent, Amber said, adding there was
enough room for increasing it to 50 percent.