Self-proclaimed queer activist Dr Aqsa Shaikh who reportedly is a faculty member at Jamia Hamdard has made controversial remarks on Muslim polygamy while trying to peddle the claim that all Muslims in India are in danger. On April 25, Shaikh suggested on Twitter that Muslims should start getting married on priority. She even asked married Muslim men to marry again because polygamy may soon be illegal for them.
“Dear Muslims, get Married..”
Dr Shaikh started her thread saying, “There is palpable islamophobia across India whether you are in a village or Delhi, whether you work in a Govt job or as a blue-collar worker.” She goes on to suggest the Muslim community in India needs to take a lot of measures for their “safety, sanity and welfare.” Shaikh then asserts that getting married can be one of the collectivist ways for it brings a sense of responsibility, belonging and care.
One of those measures is – getting married. Yes! I would urge Single Muslims to get married if they feel they are ready for it. This can bring a lot of sense of responsibility, belonging and care. Also, keep it very simple. Don’t spend much in marriage.— Dr. Aqsa Shaikh (@doctorsaheba) April 25, 2022
Sheikh went on to say that Muslims should not spend much on their marriage. “You will need those savings for the difficult future which is likely to be our fate soon,” said the activist while layering the propaganda of discrimination against Muslims in India. While selecting the spouse one should stop being ‘snobbish’ and ‘picky’, she says, further asserting that Muslims should start marrying on priority.
“Don’t fall into Inter-faith relationships”
Dr Aqsa demanded that Muslim men should not indulge in Interfaith relationships as there is a supposed huge violent resistance to interfaith marriages especially involving Muslim men. “The consequences if you manage to stay alive would be harassment of your family including some prison time. So, think before you jump,” Shaikh reminded.
The consequences if you manage to stay alive would be harassment of your family including some prison time. So, think before you jump. Also, dear Muslim Men, don’t even think of pronouncing instant triple talaq. Apart from it not considered valid , it could also land you in jail— Dr. Aqsa Shaikh (@doctorsaheba) April 25, 2022
She then asserted that since Dowry is a crime in Islam, it should be avoided. Furthermore, Dr Aqsa asked Muslims to not engage with Non-Muslims on online dating platforms. “Don’t fall for romantic online relationships with non-Muslims. A lot of these accounts are fake profiles of honey-trappers made to extort money, blackmail and harass,” she says.
She asserted that conjugal relationships and childcare can all be done while pursuing one’s studies and career, with support from family.
In general, through her thread, Dr Aqsa tried to propagate a view that Muslims face imminent danger in India and they should focus on marrying and producing children. Though interestingly, she did not clarify the issue that if Muslims are in so much danger, how are they able to marry, practice polygamy and study and work in India.
Considering marrying a widow, divorcee or a ‘transgender woman’ for polygamy
Aqsa Shaikh, who teaches community medicine at Jamia Hamdard also justified Polygamy for Muslim men in India. She suggested that married Muslim Men should quickly consider a second marriage because polygamy won’t be legal for Muslims for a long time. “If you are a married Muslim Man, consider discussing with your spouse for marrying another Muslim woman – preferably someone who is a widow, divorcee, unsupported or a transgender woman,” she suggested in her tweet.
Her statements have attracted sharp criticism, a few days after she was seen suggesting that Instagram is a better tool to learn about sexual and gender minorities than Anatomy and Biochemistry textbooks. Dr Aqsa’s exercise in victimhood followed by her regressive suggestions were called out by people on Twitter.
Many called out a so-called educated person’s narrow-minded views about issues of marriage and parenting. A Twitter user criticised that her tweets are propagating the concept that humans are just for the purpose of reproduction.
Many called out Dr Aqsa’s regressive and primitive views with respect to women’s dignity and social status.
Coming from a woman, this thread demonstrates the extent to which Islam brainwashes people. A woman wishing other women polygamous husbands (implying SHARED HUSBANDS)!— Surajit Dasgupta (@surajitdasgupta) April 25, 2022
It’s a different matter that Hindus may feel relieved that this appeal takes a direction away from love jihad. https://t.co/ZduKA9Z1g0
Khushbu Mattoo asked why a Muslim man needs to ‘marry’ someone, that too for a second time if he wants to support or help them.
At this point in the thread, you’ve reached a high so high, logic commits suicide out of the 15th floor window. Why do you have to marry multiple people to help them financially? License to? It’s actually looking like a parody thread. Good luck with doctorship https://t.co/XHRSXw2xSJ— Khushboo Mattoo (@MattLaemon) April 25, 2022
Dr Aqsa wanted to ‘change’ the medical curriculum, had said it has too much anatomy and too much biochemistry
The same Dr Aqsa had recently gone on an unhinged rant against the medical sciences curriculum, stating that it focuses too much on anatomy, and biochemistry. She wanted medical colleges to teach humanities and advocated for ‘gender identities’ to be taught at the school level. She even stated that Instagram teaches more about sexual and gender minorities than medical colleges.
It is notable here that the Muslim personal laws in India allow Muslims to marry multiple times and keep up to 4 wives. There are several other issues, like child marriages etc, that are in violation of the laws of the country. There is an increasing demand for a Uniform Civil Code across the country.