DCW backs women seeking entry into Haji Ali Dargah

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New Delhi, Jan. 28 (ANI): The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) on Thursday backed Muslim women groups protesting against restriction on their entry into the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal said gender discrimination in places of worship should be abolished.

“God has created men and women. It is extremely important that all these traditions, which are discriminatory against women, and which have these nuances of gender discrimination, should be completely abolished. I support the entry of women in both these places. I oppose disallowing of women in temples and dargahs,” Maliwal told ANI.

Professor of Islamic studies Zeenat Shaukat Ali, who was one of the protestors, seeking entry in Haji Ali dargah, said it was ‘male patriarchy’, not religion, which was imposing restrictions on women.

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“I am an Islamic scholar and nowhere in Islam is it said that women cannot go to graveyards. This is the dictum of the prophet. When Islam has not excluded women, then why should male patriarchy dominate. Male patriarchy is dominating the Hindus, Male patriarchy is dominating the Muslims,” she told ANI.

A Muslim women’s rights group is locked in a bitter legal battle with trustees of the Haji Ali Dargah, which barred women’s entry into mosque’s mausoleum in 2011

While defending its ban on women, the Haji Ali Dargah trust had reportedly said that it was a “grievous sin” as per Islam for women to be in close proximity of the grave of a male Muslim saint.

The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) has petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking a ruling that the ban is unconstitutional. (ANI)

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