Shia families attacked for opposing Triple Talaq and for wearing ‘Hindu-like’ sacred thread on wrists

On Wednesday, the personal law board of the Shia Muslims had passed a resolution calling for a stringent law against the practice of triple talaq and had also issued a fatwa against the act of cow slaughter. Now this move is attracting violent opposition from some groups.

Yesterday some Shia families living in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, who echo similar views on the issue of triple talaq, had to face a violent attack from the members of the Sunni community. Four Shia families living in the Saiyadbada region of Babri mandi, which is inhabited both by Shia and Sunni families, were reportedly attacked on Thursday afternoon.

According to Manjir Haider, one of the Shia members whose house was attacked, he and his community is in favor of the central govt’s stand of opposing the triple talaq. Thanks to their stance on this issue, they were regularly teased and taunted by their neighbours who are Sunni.

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Manjir claimed that when his brother-in-law named Anwar Haider went to the Imambara (which is taken care of by the family) on Thursday morning, youths from the Sunni community started taunting and mocking him using PM Modi’s name. They also got into a verbal duel over Shia board’s stance on triple talaq, which soon escalated into a physical fight, thankfully quelled by locals.

Though in the afternoon, some associates of a noted criminal allegedly named Rashid came from Kasim Nagar and attacked the four Shia families. The goon threw stones from rooftops, fired 8-10 rounds and even barged into their homes and started vandalism. They didn’t even spare women and beat up Anwar’s wife and their daughter-in-law Shabnam. This has resulted in many people getting injured.

A heavy police force later arrived at the scene who took control of the situation. Some reports claimed that initially the police even tried to hush the whole matter up, which allowed the criminals to escape. Now the police is carrying out inquiries using a CCTV footage, which has helped them mark a few individuals on bikes for identification.

Police has also recovered cartridge shells from the scene, and has raided some regions but to no avail. Manjir’s version of the events were recorded in late evening at the police station. Manjir used to work as a tailor but has now retired due to old age.

As claimed by Anwar, Rashid had even alleged that Anwar and his family had voted for the BJP and thus they were infidels. Rashid’s associates had also cast aspersions on the competence of the judiciary in delivering a verdict in the triple talaq matter and proclaimed that whatever’s written in Islam is correct. As Anwar protested, the issue got out of hand and the violence ensured.

Triple Talaq isn’t the only issue because of which these Shia families have allegedly irked their Sunni coreligionists. Manjir’s family believe in wearing a sacred thread on their wrist called kalawa. This results in them reportedly getting called Kafirs (non-believers) and they regularly get harassed for their beliefs, the family claims.

This incident in Uttar Pradesh comes close to a similar, but fortunately non-violent, development in Rajasthan, where the spiritual head of the Ajmer Dargah was dubbed a non-muslim and removed from his post after calling for a ban on cow slaughter and urging Muslims to give up beef.

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