Scholars and clergymen from different Muslim sects, under the banner of All India Muslim Majlise-e-Mushawarat, today registered their protest against the Law Commission's consultation on triple talaq and the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
Recently, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), while announcing the decision to boycott the Law Commission's consultation, had criticised the Narendra Modi government for allegedly trying to divert attention from its "failures" by raising the issue of UCC.
The meeting in Mumbai was chaired by Maulana Sayed Mohamed Khalid Ashraf, the president of Daruloom Mohamdiya.
Prominent among those who attended the meeting were All India Ulema Council president Maulana Zaherudin Khan, Mushawarat president Naveed Hamid and general secretary Mujtaba Farooq, All India Muslim Personal Law Board executive committee member Maulana Sayed Athar Ali, All India Jamiat Islami vice president Maulana Nusrat, internationally-famous Haji Ali Dargah's Imam Maulana Mohd Islam, noted Shia scholar Maulana Asgar Imam Salfi (Ahlehadis) Maulana Asgar Haideri and others.
"Any interference in Muslim Personal Law will not be tolerated. Any efforts to impose a Common Civil Code in the name of social reform and gender justice will prove counter- productive," they said in a joint statement here.
"The government should respect this position of Muslims instead of conspiring to put an end to it. The government cannot force Muslims to follow other communities in issues related to personal laws as it would amount to an infringement of their fundamental rights.
"Those clamouring against triple talaq and demanding a ban on polygamy are a minuscule minority and are not representative of the Indian Muslim community," said Maulana Sayed Mohamed Khalid Ashraf.
All India Ulema Council president Maulana Zaherudin Khan said the move of banning triple talaq is a conspiracy to impose a Uniform Civil Code.
"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 said.
All India Ulema Association president Maulana Sayed Athar Ali said the government should not interfere in the belief and religion of any citizen.
Muslims consider divorce, polygamy and other personal laws as an intrinsic part of their religion and are hence obliged to follow the Sharia in those matters, he said.
Addressing reporters at Press Club in South Mumbai, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) president Navaid Hamid accused the BJP government of playing "divisive politics" and "imposing" UCC on Muslims.
He said the move will be fought tooth and nail by the community.
"No intervention in Shariat will be tolerated. We will oppose it tooth and nail. The Uniform Civil Code is a trap and Muslims must not buy out the Sangh agenda. The questionnaire provided by Law Commission must be thrown into a dustbin," Hamid said.
He said AIMMM is of the view that Muslims are "being hammered for various Sharia laws by the government and the media."
Hamid said a resolution was passed in the executive committee of AIMMM to support and accept every decision of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
"Current political situation in country is alarmingly moving towards communal polarisation and all-round failure of the BJP-led coalition government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has started showing its true colour of divisive agenda," he alleged.
The group also passed a nine-point resolution, listing issues like political and communal situation of day, attempt to impose UCC, triple talaq, Kashmir situation, Babri masjid, New Education Policy etc.
It alleged that Union government has "disappointed" citizens of country on above resolutions.
"To divert attention from its failure, Modi government has given a free hand to cow vigilante groups who are acting as private armies to terrorise dalits, Muslims and other minorities," Hamid claimed.