The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and a number of other prominent Muslim organisations on Thursday rejected the Law Commission's questionnaire on the Uniform Civil Code, calling it "misleading".
Calling the questionnaire "misleading and divisive", AIMPLB General Secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani said Muslims will not respond to it.
"We will boycott this questionnaire. No Muslim will respond to it because it is misleading and deceitful. The Uniform Civil Code is divisive and will lead to social unrest," he told the media here.
"The uniform code is not suited for this nation. There are so many cultures in India and they have to be respected. A uniform code is against the spirit of the Constitution, which safeguards the right of citizens to practise their culture and religion," he said.
Questioning the timing of the move, Rahmani said the Narendra Modi government had deliberately thrown up this issue now to "hide its failures in the last two-and-half years".
The development comes days after the Union government told the Supreme Court that 'triple talaq', 'nikaah halaal' and polygamy were not integral to the practice of Islam or essential religious practices.
Subsequently, the Law Commission on October 7 put up on its website a questionnaire, comprising of 16 questions, to seek public opinion on the civil code issue.
Fielding a question on the issue of triple talaq, Rahmani pointed out that as per the 2011 Census data, the percentage of divorce cases among members of a particular community was much higher than the Muslims.
Also, he added, the prevalence of polygamy was higher among these people than in the Muslims, as per the 2011 Census data.
Other prominent Muslims who represented their respective organisations at the press conference here included Maulana Arshad Madani (Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind), Mohammad Jafar (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind), Maulana Asghar Imam Mehdi (Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith), Maulana Mahmood Madani (Jamiat Ulema Hind), M. Manzoor Alam (All India Milli Council), Naved Hamid (All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat) and Maulana Abul Qasim Naumani (Rector, Darul Uloom Deoband).
Besides, Barelvi cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan of Ittehad-e-Millat Council and Shia cleric Maulana Mohsin Taqvi were scheduled to attend the presser but could not make it, AIMPLB member Kamal Farouqi said.
Rahmani said they would launch a campaign to create awareness amongst Muslims, beginning with a gathering in Lucknow.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind President Maulana Arshad Madani said: "The Muslim Personal Law is based on Quran and Hadith and we cannot alter it."
"Modi ji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) wants to impose dictatorship in the name of democracy," he added.
Madani insisted that it is not just the Muslims who will be affected by a Uniform Civil Code but other communities such as the Sikhs and Christians and the tribals.
He said these communities will also speak up (against the civil code) in due course.
The speakers also accused the Law Commission of not acting as an independent body but as an "arm of the government" in pushing the government's agenda.
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