Since 1947, they have manufactured a long list of un-Islamic acts, going by the various fatwas. Women being divorced instantly and unilaterally, women going out of homes to work, girls without heads covered, divorced wife getting maintenance, divorced wife getting custody of her own children, raped woman asking for justice — a long open-ended list to be expanded at will and as per convenience.

We have seen these leaders raise only emotional or identity- related issues. They don’t take positions on substantive issues facing the community and the larger society. We all remember the Shah Bano case but never heard of any campaign demanding education or jobs or condemnation when Dalits get burnt alive. The poverty and marginalisation of Muslims have not developed overnight. There has been a failure in genuine representation and political participation. And those who claim to be leaders must take the blame.

A must read article by Zakia Soman of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. See the full story at: http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main50.asp?filename=Op030911coverstory2.asp

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