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Sunni leader slams pledge, taken during Kerala govt’s ‘gender campaign’, to give equal property rights to women, calls it violation of Muslim rights, Quran

According to the reports, Koodathayi who is also the state secretary of Sunni Yujana Sangham opined that the Constitution empowers followers of all religions to practice personal laws on marriage, divorce, property rights, and burial rites. He reiterated that the oath violated the Quran, which states that men are entitled to double as much as women in the share. 

On Friday, a cleric of Kerala’s influential Muslim body ‘Samastha’ voiced his opinion against a vow which was administered to Kudumbashree volunteers stating that Muslim women shall have equal legal rights to their father’s estate. Sunni leader Nasar Faizi Koodathayi, the general secretary of the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Qutba committee said that the pledge amounted to a violation of the fundamental rights of Muslims.

According to the reports, Koodathayi who is also the state secretary of Sunni Yujana Sangham opined that the Constitution empowers followers of all religions to practice personal laws on marriage, divorce, property rights, and burial rites. He reiterated that the oath violated the Quran, which states that men are entitled to double as much as women in the share. 

The cleric happened to write a Facebook post on December 2 which read, “Islam declared post-right to women in the property of the father, husband, and son to the world is mythically believed as that woman have no property rights. But in the property of the father, it’s not discrimination to make them half of the man (their brother).”

Screenshot of his Facebook post translation

The Kerala Government is conducting various projects through Kudumbasree from November 25 to December 23, 2022, as a part of the Gender Campaign conducted by the Central Ministry of Rural Development. The leader amid the campaign also added that it is a man who has to bear all the expenses of a woman’s life and that woman is dependent upon a man. “Even if the husband is poor and the wife is rich, it is the husband’s responsibility to bear the expenses of their husband and children. Islam gives women the right to keep whatever they get afterwards without having to bear a single penny at the expense,” he wrote.

The leader also meanwhile said that women being allowed half of what men get from their father’s property cannot be construed as injustice. “Those who criticize the stipulation forget the additional burden on men. The attempt to violate fundamental principles of the Constitution and religion in the name of gender neutrality will certainly invite protests,” he added.

The comments of the leader have come to the fore amid the gender campaign conducted by the Central Rural Development Ministry in the state. Every Kudumbasree as a part of the campaign has been instructed to pledge through gender resource meeting.

The Kudumbashree circular further invites members to vow that they will celebrate the births of both male and female children equally and give equal opportunities in school and work to both. Koodathayi said that such pledges would invite severe protests in the state.

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