Muslim groups support SC observation on burqa for photo ID

Muslim groups support SC observation on burqa for photo ID


"I am totally with the Supreme Court order. When we have no objection to photos for passport for going to Haj, why should we object to the same for this. This should not be made an emotional issue," Delhi Minority Commission Chairman and All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Kamal Faruqui said.

When it was pointed out that some Muslim clerics are opposing the observation, Faruqui said he will convince the community about the need for photo voter IDs adding, "I am sure they will understand the importance of having them."
The Supreme Court yesterday said religious sentiments should not be exploited to oppose the making of electoral rolls with photographs. It was hearing a petition which argued that asking women observing 'purdah' to lift their veil for being photographed for voter IDs would be sacrilegious.

"Though purdah is compulsory for women under the Shariat, Islamic law gives conditional permission under special circumstances," senior member of the All India Muslim Personal law board and Naib Imam of Idgah, Lucknow, Khalid Rasheed Forangimahal said.
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind secretary and spokesperson Abdul Hamid Nomani also said Islam allows Muslim women to show their face if there is specific need.

"What will be the relevance of a photo I-card with burqa. This is not a general situation in which purdah is essential. Some people mix up the special situations with the general ones. Religion gives permission for it in need. This should not be projected as a religious issue," Nomani said.

Jamaat-e-Islami secretary Mujtaba Farooqi said, "I think what the Supreme Court said is correct. Documents of the country's citizens should be prepared and the provision of photos should be there for making of such basic documents."
Farooqi maintained that even those who support purdah relax it for such necessary documents and Muslim seminaries have issued fatwa that photos of Muslim women can be taken if they are "need-based".

Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid Mufti Mukarram Ahmed said he does not find anything wrong with the SC observation.
"There is nothing wrong in what the SC said. Shariyat, though, makes purdah essential for Muslim women, it permits showing their face if there is any need or compulsion. If a woman is seriously ill, she can not observe purdah from her doctor. Getting photographed for election I-card or any such necessary documents is permitted," he said.
Citing the case of Haj, Firangimahali said in Lucknow that women do get themselves clicked for their passports and getting photographed for ensuring that they get their right to vote also falls in the same category of special circumstances.
He, however, had reservations over reported stern views of the apex court that "if religious sentiments are so strong then do not go to vote". Comments on religious issues should be in keeping with the sensitivity of the matter, he said.

The President of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board, Shaista Amber, also cited the case Muslim women getting themselves photographed for passports made for Haj and said there is a need to make the community aware of their constitutional rights.

"Religion does not direct us to hide our identity," Amber said adding that any reservation on getting photographed would deprive women from participating in the progress of the society and country and that would be a "much bigger loss".
Maulana Mohammad Mushtaq of the All India Sunni Board said that Muslim women and girls get themselves photographed for the purposes of education.
"Muslim women also have the right to seek medical help and show their face to doctors if required," Mushtaq said.
The spokesman of the All India Shia Personal Law Board, Yasoob Abbas, however, said that women, if clicked for photo I-cards, should be necessarily under Islamic 'hijab'.

"There should be clear directives that Muslim women should be allowed to get themselves photographed with Islamic hijab which only reveals the face keeping the head as well as ears under cover," Yasoob said adding that otherwise it would be felt that there is some "planned conspiracy" to deprive a large section of the community of their voting rights.
Yasoob also stressed on deployment of adequate number of woman employees and policewomen on election duty so that women are not exposed to "male scrutiny".

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