15 December, 2017

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Oppressive Religious Orthodoxy & Orphaned Muslim Women

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

The issue of reforming Muslim personal laws and in particular the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act is dragging on without any firm decision from the government. The article by Shreen Abdul Saroor on “Muslim Women’s Rights – When Is The Right Time?” that appeared in this journal (10 October 2017) is in my view a cry in desperation out of prolonged frustration and disappointment not only at the government’s vacillation and indecision but also at the obsequiousness of Muslim intellectuals to speak the truth in front of power. I have already written in this journal (30 November 2016) on some fundamental issues in Muslim women’s struggle for freedom, justice and inequality.

The major problem that Muslim women face in Sri Lanka is their lack of political strength not only to make their preferences decisive at the elections but also to counter and defeat the opposition from religious orthodoxy, which is historically entrenched in championing misogyny. The power and influence of this orthodoxy is so deep and widespread now and especially after the unimpeded penetration and spread of ultraconservative Salafist and Wahhabi ideologies that it can even impose unspecified threats and sanctions against not only Muslim women groups but also against Muslim intellectuals and Muslim community leaders who try to overstep their designated social and religious boundaries. An orthodoxy claims universal authority and has the power to impose penalties on those who are disobedient. Progressive Muslim women groups should understand the formidability of this opposition and unless they strengthen their political power it will be too difficult to win their battle for equality and justice. These opponents may agree to introduce some cosmetic changes in the legal status quo but not for a fundamental reform. This may be the final outcome of the current attempt to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act.

The government and the Muslim politicians who are members of it are more worried of capturing the Muslim vote bank than listening to the agony of Muslim women without of course realising an obvious fact that at least one half of that bank consists of women. From the government’s point of view, the Muslim vote bank has been historically crucial in Sri Lanka’s electoral politics that it would be suicidal for politicians to jeopardise their political future by antagonizing the religious orthodoxy that has an overwhelming influence in Muslim electorates. What has been a historical fact with regard to the power and influence of Buddhist monks in Sinhalese electorates is currently true of the Muslim ulema, a growing phenomenon that requires serious political analysis. I know of at least one religious leader in the Eastern Province who used his followers votes as bargaining chip to win favours from a local politician.

One only has to attend and listen to the misogynic sermons dished out during Friday prayers where the imams fervently justify the prevailing gender inequality as equality in their version of the Divine Law, the sharia. What is more the women are disallowed to attend these sermons right throughout the country. Here lies a major issue for Muslim women to fight for and win: the right to enter mosques to pray. It is a sad reflection of Islam as practiced in Sri Lanka that while women are disallowed in mosques to perform their daily prayers their dead bodies are taken inside the mosque to conduct the funeral prayer. Even to this prayer, women are not allowed to join in. This was not true of historical Islam or of Islam in other countries. Isn’t it time for the Sri Lankan Muslim women to demand the mosques be open for them too?

If religious orthodoxy is obstinate towards promoting gender equality Muslim intellectuals are obsequious to this obstinacy or not willing to support the women’s cause openly. It is a strange irony that these intellectuals and community leaders, who are otherwise publicly vociferous in advancing the cause of rationalism and secular thoughts, remain mute or ambivalent when it comes to the status of Muslim women. Why is this ambivalence and pseudo neutrality? Once again it shows the intellectuals’ fear of the power of orthodoxy.  An ulema’s collective like the Jamiatul Ulema has an ultimate weapon to pronounce recalcitrant intellectuals as heretics which would tarnish the public image of those individuals. If that is the reason for the muteness can these intellectuals rightly be called intellectuals? All in all, a resourceful and influential orthodoxy in combination with an indecisive government and irresolute Muslim intelligentsia have progressively abandoned Muslim women’s struggle for equality and justice. In essence, Muslim women have been collectively orphaned.

In such a disappointing environment Muslim women should strengthen themselves by politically becoming more active and transact their share of the vote bank to maximise winnings for gender equality and justice. A similar struggle by Indian Muslim women is gaining support from some unexpected quarters and has eventuated in favourable court rulings. It is indeed a tough call in Sri Lanka but with support from non-Muslim quarters your eventual victory is assured.                

Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia     

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Latest comments

  • 5
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    O ccasionally we have a sensible Muslim voice speaking out. The 30% women requirement in the proposed constitution disappeared when it came out in the Hansard? Did the Muslim politicians do this behind the backs of every body?

    • 1
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      Dr. Ameer Ali

      RE: Oppressive Religious Orthodoxy & Orphaned Muslim Women
      Thanks for exposing the discrimination of grandmothers, mothers, daughters and sisters.

      Yes, the State must correct this injustice, and the Ulama, Mullahs, Imams, Moulavis, Pedophiles and other men will NOT reform or correct it. The state must, but will they?

      One definition of stupidity is repeatedly doing the same thing, for 8 years, when it is very clear that the results would be the same.Expecting the Ulama council and other Muslim Pseudo- Intellectuals, to reform will not work, because they all are after their own self-interest.

      They need to go to the Parliament, and bypass the Ulama, Mullahs, Imams, Moulavis, Pedophiles and other men, if they want redress. Otherwise, they will be like cattle caged, and have to eat whatever is thrown at them.

      The Sri Lankam Muslim women gets to gets to the Mosque after they are dead. The Ulama is giving that concession, because they will be promised to be virgins in heaven, to be provided as one of the 72 Virgins to the suicide bombers and Ulama.

      Wow, what a strange religion as interpreted by the Ulama, Wahhabi-Salafis! Is that Islam really is?

      Women are chattel in Islam, whiter married, unmarried or slaves.
      This is against the constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
      ISIS and the problem of the Wahhabi and Salafi Ideology. The Hadith of Najd.
      [Wahhabism is] sort of an extreme orthodoxy that historically has not been shared by a majority of Muslims, particularly nobody outside of the Arabian Peninsula. Wahhabism has been Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith. Strict Wahhabis believe that all those who don’t practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies. Critics say that Wahhabism’s rigidity has led it to misinterpret and distort Islam,

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJLl–gSCpo

  • 2
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    Dr. ameer Ali: As you people believe, in your religeon everything is created by the god almighty. If it is so, why you ask women to develop the political power in order to counter act the almighty’s wish. Don’t you think, it is against the wish of your religious readings?…………………. Secondly, Is sinhale a majority buddhist country in which buddhist practices should come to the fore front. Because, evven the constitution says buddhism is at the forefront. Yet, MMDA is – a discrminating marraige law is active., even against the United Nations conventions, why there is a discriminating marraige act is active ?. Sri lankan govt should be sued by the human rigth activists who are also look bankrupt ideologists. I think women should take the initiative. I know women wanta a man at any cost. IT is the govt which should take action. when underage girl are married by firce, the human right activists should sue both the parents and the marraige partner for incest.

    • 2
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      Dr. Ameer Ali:

      “IT is the govt which should take action. when underage girl are married by firce, the human right activists should sue both the parents and the marraige partner for incest.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZOA3Ho9AUk&t=3s

      he MMDA protects the criminals. That is why the Ulama do not want it reformed and changed.The Wahhab-Salafis who follows the Devil, Satan goes along with it.

      Al Azhar Scholar: ‘Wahhabism/Salafism is a Satanic Faith, the Horns of Satan’

      I m Muslim I m against Wahhabism, the Devil Followers., says, cleric.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOWXtBvfpkA

  • 4
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    Hadith : The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from going to the mosque of Allah.’ [Sahih Muslim Book 4 Hadith No.886]
    Hadith : And husbands were specifically told by him, “If the wife of any one of you asks permission (to go to the mosque) do not forbid her.” (Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 12 :: Hadith 832)
    Hadith : Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Abdullah ibn Umar said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Do not forbid the female slaves of Allah from (going into) the mosques of Allah.’ ” (Malik :: Book 14 : Hadith 14.5.12)

    The above Sahih Hadith provide conclusive evidence that there cannot be any religious edicts that prevent Muslim females from entering Mosques for purposes of prayer. Unfortunately, most of the old Mosques have not been constructed in a manner that is conducive for use by both genders for prayers. This is the crux of the problem. The good news is that many Mosques in all parts of the Island have made the necessary structural changes (or are in the process of doing so) that would enable the free movement of worshippers of both genders. Rather than undertaking the addition of prayer facilities for females in a Mosque for which funds may not be readily available, some officials take the easy way out by declaring the Mosque out-of-bounds for females. However, these very same officials will make all the necessary arrangments to accomodate females within the Mosque for daily Taraweeh Prayers during the month of Ramazan. No questions are asked nor explanations provided for such contradictory behaviour on the part of these officials. This is yet another perfect example of ‘blind obedience’ (taqlid) on the part of the community.
    However, it must be admitted that there are quite a few ulemas and trustees of mosques who stubbornly refuse permission for females to enter mosques for any purpose.

    • 1
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      ekelbroom,

      “Hadith : The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from going to the mosque of Allah.’ [Sahih Muslim Book 4 Hadith No.886]”

      Well, well these Hadiths are not in the self-interest of the Ulama and others. So, they will give their own interpretation. Have you heard about Martin Luther, the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation? What About Copernicus, Galileo and the Helio centric model of the solar system. It is called self-interest. Same with Sinhala “Buddhist” Monks.

      They need to go to the Parliament, and bypass the Ulama, Mullahs, Imams, Moulavis, Pedophiles and other men, if they want redress. Otherwise, they will be like cattle caged, and have to eat whatever is thrown at them.

      Wow, what a strange religion as interpreted by the Ulama, Wahhabi-Salafis! Is that Islam really is?

      Women are chattel in Islam, whiter married, unmarried or slaves.
      This is against the constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

      ISIS and the problem of the Wahhabi and Salafi Ideology. The Hadith of Najd.
      [Wahhabism is] sort of an extreme orthodoxy that historically has not been shared by a majority of Muslims, particularly nobody outside of the Arabian Peninsula.Wahhabism has been Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith. Strict Wahhabis believe that all those who don’t practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies. Critics say that Wahhabism’s rigidity has led it to misinterpret and distort Islam.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJLl–gSCpo

    • 1
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      ekelbroom

      “However, it must be admitted that there are quite a few ulemas and trustees of mosques who stubbornly refuse permission for females to enter mosques for any purpose.”

      Listen to Christopher Hitchens advised a Jewish women to tell Christian Evangelists

      Christopher Hitchens Tell her to (tell the Christian Evangelists) fuck off.

      Can this be extended to the Ulama as well?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1fmWVECUI4

      Christopher Hitchens delivers one of his best hammer blows to audience member. Can tell the Wahhabi-Salafis as well.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6Anl2xce2c

    • 1
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      ekelbroom,
      There is small piece of law from 1957 (ITAK sponsored) Hindu Temples (Even private properties commonly maintained) can not refuse the entrance to anybody based on caste. Temple entrance movement started only a decade after that law.

      So, beyond fixing MMDA, the Mosques have to be registered by government only if they openly agree to allow fair gender to pray. Of cause Sinhala Politicians won’t be interested in that type of small but vote losing legislatures. Muslim leaders should ask for it like ITKA did. So in 10 years Muslim women can have places to pray.

      • 1
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        Mallaiyuran
        Thank you for the suggestion, but the fact of the matter is that the situation is markedly different in the case of the Muslim community.
        All matters pertaining to the social, cultural and religious practices of the Muslims have been and are under the aegis of the Jamaiyathul Ulema, who have a stranglehold on the community. The vice-like grip that these ‘scholars’ exert is unbelievable. They operate under the preconceived notion that they know what’s best for the community and that they are never wrong. One must experience it to understand why many Muslims have been ’emasculated’ in a metaphorical sense. No Muslim politician who aspires to hold public office will dare to go against the edicts of this group. So your suggestion is a non-starter if we depend on the spineless politicians.
        Why do you think a committee of Muslim intellectuals, who have been deliberating for 8 years, has to date failed to issue a report on the extremely important subject of Marriage and Divorce ? The non-issuance of a report would mean that the status-quo remains unchanged, which is what the ‘scholars’ want.
        On the subject of females entering Mosques, all that is required is a clear and unambigous fatwa (a legal opinion or decree) from the ‘scholars’ permitting females to enter Mosques. But our ‘scholars’ prefer to remain silent on this issue even though this results in Mosque authorities acting in contravention of authenticated sayings of the Holy Prophet (sal).
        Does this situation not remind you of a flock of sheep blindly following a shepherd ?

    • 1
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      ….”Unfortunately, most of the old Mosques have not been constructed in a manner that is conducive for use by both genders for prayers.”….

      I wonder how the way older mosques back centuries ago handled this problem if they had allowed females then

      • 0
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        ekelbroom RE: Rajjeeva comment

        “I wonder how the way older mosques back centuries ago handled this problem if they had allowed females then”

        The Prophet’s mosque in Medina? The Grand Mosque in Mecca?

        Are the Ulama and Mullah afraid of the Prophet and Allah to discriminate against women at Medina and at Mecca? Saudis won’t allow women ti drive, and that is a different story.

  • 6
    1

    Better be careful Mr. Ameer Ali. You speaking your mind so candidly may not go down well with the growing Religion of Peace Brigade on our Island. They may well consider your no nonsense, straight-forward writing blasphemic and issue a fatwa against you. Look at what is happening in Bangladesh. The lunatics attack with knives. Anybody who reasons against what they consider Islamic subjectively, is in mortal danger. Cheers!

    • 3
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      Mr. BH,
      Ameer Ali lives in Australia, where he is allowed to criticize Islam or even Christianity. Perhaps you ought to put your mind as to why some other allegedly peaceful religions are sacred cows in this country.

      • 3
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        Codger,
        We should take our focus away from the MDMA issue? Wow! I know Ameer Ali is domiciled in Down Under. But, he is of Sri Lankan Muslim descent. Clearly he is socially engaged and cares about terrible issue like this that bogs down his beloved country, Sri Lanka. Most likely he visits SL often and got extended family here. I wish he lived here among us to lead this fight with us. Against religious lunatics of all faiths. He is the kind of Sri Lankan we should never send abroad. Cheers!
        PS: FYI, I know Australia well. Most Australians I know, including tolerant, open-minded, liberals are fed up with intrusion of utterly intolerant versions of Islam, wholly incompatible with modern Australian values. I am not talking about the racists & Christian fundamentalists, who are already in the car. Feeling horny about a war on Islam.

      • 2
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        The author has every right to write, criticize, and give his opinion. This website is not exclusively for Sri Lankans residing in Sri Lanka only. The CT is open to all everywhere in the world, especially Sri Lankans who live in other nations, and have interests here at home.

        • 5
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          I am afraid you are missing the point. I am not against Amir Ali or his views. I support the MMDA entirely. What I am against is using it as a tool for Muslim-bashing when other religious practices in Sri Lanka are above criticism.

          • 2
            1

            I agree with your point. Most articles I read, about Muslims, whether it is negative or positive, always finds Islamaphobes and anti Muslim trolls, spewing utter nonsense, and writing as if they are Islamic scholars. Even if an article is about Palestinian, or Rohingya children, the comments are vicious and ugly. It makes one wonder exactly what religion condones such ugly hateful words.

          • 0
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            So, old codger is another marakkaya whose wife is just thrash (for him).

            • 3
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              Jimsofty Dimwit

              “So, old codger is another marakkaya whose wife is just thrash (for him)”

              Lets assume old codger is another marakkaya (whatever that is) aren’t you not a descendant of Kallathonie convert from South India?

              thrash –
              beat (a person or animal) repeatedly and violently with a stick or whip.,
              a violent or noisy movement of beating or thrashing.
              move in a violent and convulsive way

              Jimsofty Dimwit

              What exactly did you mean by whose wife is just thrash (for him)?

            • 2
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              “So, old codger is another marakkaya “

              Dumb Jim,
              He is not a dumb toilet cleaner in Canada, but you are.

            • 1
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              I hear Jimmy is an assistant toilet cleaner in Canada. His chief is an Afghan with a BIG you-know-what. So Jimmy’s rear end hurts in the evenings. That’s why he is grumpy. Please forgive him.

              • 1
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                old codger

                “I hear Jimmy is an assistant toilet cleaner in Canada. “

                Since when was this lazy racist gainfully employed ? I am surprised.

  • 5
    1

    The root course of the problem is poverty, if this could be eradicated 80% of the problem will be solved.

    Instead of finding fault with the religion, try doing something tangible to solve this, the Sri Lankan Government and the majority community is trying everything to side line economy of the community, there is no jobs for the muslims youths, and 99% o the muslim female population doesn’t generate any income, unlike the majority female population, who occupies 98% of the state sector employment.

    Currently the main source of income for the muslim community in the island is from the middle eastern countries. similar situation is there in India as well, due to the same issue–poverty.

    Find a solution for this, and you have 80% of the problem solved.

    • 0
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      That is a dumb argument. Muslims men absue women because of poverty. How about in Saudi arabia and in other muslims societies.

      • 1
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        Dumb Jimbo,
        Saudi men don’t send their wives as slaves.
        Sinhala buddhists do that.

        • 0
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          Yusuf Modaya,

          Most of the maids nowadays are from the East and are Muslims. Ever heard of a murderer called Rizana Nafeek?

  • 5
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    If you are so concerned about Muslim women, where were these so called concerned Muslims when Muslim women and children were killed all over the world?

    These writers are brave when beating Muslims, but not so courageous and silent when confronting others.

    Stop jumping in the band wagon of Islamphobia.

  • 3
    3

    It has been eight years, and STILL the distinguished panel has no spine, to make a strong decision, and give rights to helpless Muslim women, protect little girls, and allow Muslims women to feel as safe and secure as their sisters in all other religions in SL, when it comes to marriage and divorce laws. They are not asking for too much, or the impossible.
    It is giving them dignit,y and empowering them to take care of themselves, and their children. WHAT IS THE DELAY? Do not be intimidated by the grumpy men who live in caves.

  • 0
    2

    Ameer Ali ~ “The issue of reforming Muslim personal laws and in particular the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act is dragging on without any firm decision from the government”
    This is disgustingly disgusting Ameer. Touch your heart and ask your God as to whether the MMDA reform is in the hands of GoSL. No no no Ameer. One or more of the bloody Lankan MPs must bring the matter in parliament. They are not doing that and you are part of the damned lot who want to leave MMDA untouched.

    Then you go on ~ “………The article by Shreen Abdul Saroor on “Muslim Women’s Rights – When Is The Right Time?” that appeared in this journal (10 October 2017) is in my view a cry in desperation out of prolonged frustration and disappointment not only at the government’s vacillation and indecision but also at the obsequiousness of Muslim intellectuals to speak the truth in front of power…….”.
    This is patronising Ameer. Please speak the truth – is triple talaq religious or a tool to oppress?

    • 0
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      A typo. “……….One or more of the bloody Lankan MPs …..” should be “………….One or more of the bloody Lankan MUSLIM MPs …….”
      Sorry.

  • 5
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    It’s OK to condemned Muslims and their personal marriage laws, but please don’t mention the Kandyan Marriage Law.

    You’re life will be in danger. Sri Lankans have killed and hurt people simply because of their different races or religions. We even kicked a British tourist out of the country because she was wearing a Buddha tattoo.

    Please don’t be so courageous and write demeaning other races or religion. Unless, its against Muslims, it’s the new game in town.

    • 0
      1

      Why don’t we re write all the marraige laws and make one. I don’t think Kendian women are sensitive about that law, even though it is there. Kendian marriage law is used by them as an added advntage for I think to say they are high caste.

  • 3
    1

    Dr Sneer Ali ..
    There is no difference between you and all those Salafi groups.
    Some salafi groups speaks about this issue and many more issues on islam due to their literal reading of texts and their ignorant of social realities ..
    On the other hand; you are talking about Islam with this deep rooted knowledge on western scholarship and you have read more about Islam from those oriental schoalrs who wrote about Islam…inclduing about this women issue ..
    First and fore more you should clean your minds from those poisonous ideas about Islam you have taken form schoalrs of non- Muslim scholarship..
    Just because you are born into Muslim patent you do not become an expert to speak for Islam.
    You and those Salafi or sufi are on the same board .
    Tell me which religion freed women folk from slavery; subjugation and sex workers and humiliations.
    Europe gave them voting rights just a few decades ago ..
    Europe gave them inheritance rights more recently..
    Europe gave them other rights recently..
    You know well Islam has given them all basic human rights long time ago …1400 years ago …long before all so called women rights groups come up .
    But Islam does not give them lesbian rights or to become prostitute as they like..as Thasleema Nasreen wants..
    Islam gives them all rights as mothers; wives; sisters; aunties; daughters and so on ..
    We know that some reformation is needed in Sri Lankan contests too ..
    But not as you like or as one liberal lesbian minded want it ..

    • 3
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      Lankans 1 and 2:
      Would you please reveal to us ignorant people whether your grandmothers wore niqab ?
      If not, why?

      • 2
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        old codger
        “…whether your grandmothers wore niqab ..”

        Guess No . That was before the Wahhabi-Salafis Devil followers invaded Sri Lanka with their Wahhabi Petro-dollars.

        • 1
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          Dear Amarasiri,
          It looks like their grandmothers DID NOT wear niqab. Therefore they were not Muslims, according to their Wahabi grandchildren. Therefore Lankan no.1 and 3 are NOT Muslims. Case closed!

          • 0
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            old codger

            “It looks like their grandmothers DID NOT wear niqab. Therefore they were not Muslims, according to their Wahabi grandchildren. Therefore Lankan no.1 and 3 are NOT Muslims. Case closed”

            So, did their grandmothers end up in Hell Fire per Wahhabi-Salafi doctrine? I have also heard a Muslim women who used to wear the sari in her 20’s, now in her late 50’s, was under tremendous pressure from her peers and the Mullah, to go Gonibilla, saying that if she continues to wear the sari, she will end up in Hell Fire?

            The Mullahs and their followers were being fooled by the Devil, Satan, Iblis, and the Wahhabi-Salafis, per the Hadith of Najd.

            Al Azhar Scholar: ‘Wahhabism/Salafism is a Satanic Faith, the Horns of Satan’

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZOA3Ho9AUk

            The horns of the Satan : The devilry anticipated by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH YouTube 360p

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoLLA6Qd9As

      • 0
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        Old codger, we had old photos of our family where my sister was wearing burqa (not niqab). It was same everywhere. When young females go out they wear burqa, but not all because to those days standard it was little expensive. So others we cannot afford wear burqa cover with their long neckties. Little older women wear sarees in a different style so the upper piece can be pulled forward to cover the head. Even now they wear like that. So you do little research and write.

        • 0
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          Ralli Ameen,
          I am indeed talking about niqab, not burqa. I have been around long enough to see the trend.
          The point is that the Arab niqab is being promoted here as some Islamic requirement.

          • 0
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            Old codger, those burqas had a flap which can be pulled down to cover the face or just put it back to rest on the head. Hihab and niqab same but niqab sometime a separate piece.

        • 2
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          No Goni Billas in our thrice blessed land.

          • 0
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            Al-fuq,

            I’d say Amen to that. These bloody Goni Billas are irritating to say the least. Once when I was in SL, year and half ago there was this little incident.

            I was at MC with my grandson and grand daughter. My Grand daughter wanted to use the bathroom. Just as she walked inside the Bathroom, a Goni Billa tried to walk inside too. That when I stood infront of the entrance and blocked the enatrance to the bathroom and said get out in Sinhalese.

            He or she or whoever the hell inside that bedsheet just walked away.

          • 0
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            Al-fuk you enjoy seeing as much as nakedness in your women so those who looks covered Goni Billa to you.

            • 0
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              No matter how much covered they are, as soon as War starts, our boys will start uncovering them and finding those hidden treasures.

    • 1
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      Lankan No 1 ,

      “Islam gives them all rights as mothers; wives; sisters; aunties; daughters and so on ”………………….so that they can be obedient chattel for the men per interpretation by the Ulama and Imams.

      Is the earth spread out like a carpet? The Sun goes around the Earth, Man came Adam and the Devil, Satan was made from fire…….

      Wow, what a strange religion as interpreted by the Ulama, Wahhabi-Salafis! Is that Islam really is? What happened to the Islamic philosophers? Islamic Science?

      Stupidest Muslim Vs Neil Tyson – How ideology can ruin intellectual power

      This is not a debate between some Muslim and Neil Tyson. But this video shows the thinking of some very well educated 21’st century Muslim (I don’t know he is ignorant, stupid or dishonest. But he is one for sure) and Neil Tyson speaking in a lecture about how Muslims intellectual power ruined by an ideology.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyCxrL9-C84&t=191s

      Women are chattel in Islam, whiter married, unmarried or slaves.
      This is against the constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
      ISIS and the problem of the Wahhabi and Salafi Ideology. The Hadith of Najd.
      [Wahhabism is] sort of an extreme orthodoxy that historically has not been shared by a majority of Muslims, particularly nobody outside of the Arabian Peninsula.Wahhabism has been Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith. Strict Wahhabis believe that all those who don’t practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies. Critics say that Wahhabism’s rigidity has led it to misinterpret and distort Islam.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJLl–gSCpo

  • 2
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    This aritlce is written by some one who is deeply influenced with secular agenda. He likes to liberate women from what ?
    He is flaking them to come into politics so that they would win their rights?
    Are you crazy?
    What do you want from them.?
    To earn more money ?
    To go out without HIJAB ?
    Do you want them.to lead prayers as we see Christianity?
    Do you want them to go clubs ?
    Intergrity of Muslim community is protected with piety of Muslim.ladies .
    So; Muslim physlosphy of life is different from non – Muslims.
    You can send your daughters as you like but leave Muslim girls and ladies as they are ?
    They are like queens.
    They enjoy all their lives with Allah has given them.
    You do not live in this world for ever .
    Maximum we have life span of 100 0r 120 .but our next life is an eternal one..
    You may die ..but your soul never die ..
    It will wait for its day of resurrection and accounting.
    WHEN you write any thing about Islam think about this day .
    You may write on any issues but when it comes into some serious religious issues that involves religious expertise please do not use your minds as you like in religious matters.
    ان السمع والبصر والفواد كل…
    ( Indeed; the faculties of hearing; seeing and sense of feeling of your hearts all will be accountable )
    If you are ready to meet your Lord with what you write ..
    It is up to you ..

    • 1
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      “They are like queens.
      They enjoy all their lives with Allah has given them.”

      For a change why don’t you want to wear niqab and become a King to enjoy the life Allah gave to them?
      In which century of the time you are born to think to fool the people with that of cheating?

  • 3
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    Very refreshingly different article in contrast to Anti Semite racist clueless Farouk, fake secularist Hilmy and Usuf and others. They like to keep their women oppressed like Saudi Arabians. They are not real muslims. Muslim women have a lot more freedom in Turkey and Iran than in Saudi Arabia. We do not want SL to become Saudi Wahabi. The reason Dr. Ali can right without fear is because he lives in Australia. If he lived in the middle east, or Bangladesh or Pakistan people will come to behead him. That simple. In western christian nations which are democracies you can say F*&k Jesus, or Mohammed or Buddha. No one will come to behead you.

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    Dear Dr Ameer Ali,

    Guys like me would like to see progress on these fronts, but really we have to leave it for Muslims to reform from within. We’ve got to be careful not to speak out of turn or for the wrong reason.

    Having said that, I think that although , as individuals we can do precious little to help, I do think that the government ought to act with more muscle in this matter.

    *

    My real purpose in writing is to thank you for your careful writing on many subjects, including the Uma Oya. People in Bandarawela seem to think that there has been some improvement regarding damage repair relating to that tragedy.

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      “but really we have to leave it for Muslims to reform from within. ” A bit of outside support for reformers would come in handy, without resorting to Muslim-bashing practiced by many commenters.
      It is not only Islam that needs reforming.

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        Dear “Lankan No 3”,

        You requested me to say what I want to on this subject. Having done so, I have awaited your response, but it doesn’t appear to be forthcoming. Subsequent to my detailing the limited extent to which I feel we ought to agitate for reform of MMDA, I have studied carefully what you have had to say in your posts above.

        *

        It appears that you resent anything that you regard as “secular”. In other words, you subscribe to the view that your commands come from the Almighty God. I think that given the fact that you are also an Abrahamic religion, I hope that you will grant that Allah is identical withYahweh, and the Christian God. This becomes now the problem. Instead of allowing the rest of society to insist that certain practices in the various religions be curtailed YOU attack all calls for moderation on your part by ignoring our reasonable requests, and making it appear that all those trying, like me, to be rational just don’t exist.

        *

        I’m placing this comment in such a way as to make it very clear that what we DEMAND is an end to certain things that are done in the name of various religions. Other religions as well. I’m only supporting what Dr Amir Ali, himself a man who claims to be a pious Muslim, has set out in his article. Instead of discussing that, I find that Lankan No 1, has called him names: “Sneer Ali” he says.

        To be continued . . .

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        I have already spelt out what limited aspects of MMDA I would like to see changed. Some would quite rationally ask why there should be ANY special laws for Muslims. I have not gone so far, have I? And yet, you are not willing to listen to me, or Dr Amir Ali, or Shreen Saroor, or old codger. What response do you expect from the rest of society, if you want to issue Fatwas to have us assassinated?

        *

        I have already commented elsewhere on the fact that emigration from Sri Lanka is lowest among Muslims. Thanks. We want ALL our people to remain here and help get this land out of the mess it is in. Those Muslims who do emigrate don’t try to enter the traditional Muslim majority countries, they go in to those countries loosely called “Western”. So, Dr Amir Ali has gone to Australia, and brings honour to us other Sri Lankans as well by the way he conducts himself. However, it looks as though a sizeable number are economic migrants to Europe and then try to impose their ways on how those societies evolve. Please examine what Turkey’s Erdogan advocates. He has actually asked that Muslims colonise Europe AND “breed like rabbits” so as to take over those societies. This is what the PRESIDENT of a Muslim country advocates.

        *

        Are you surprised at the backlash? All that we are asking here is that you allow the age of marriage of Muslims be brought in line with that of other communities living in this land which belongs to all of us. Yes, we Sinhalese are the majority community, and we would like our values also to have a place in this country. I’ve been saying enough about my personal commitment to pluralism in respect to the Tamil community to make assertions of such tolerance unnecessary here.

        *

        Responses from Lankans No 1 and No 3 are very necessary!

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      DEAR Sinhala man.

      Say what you want.

      Reforms or not reforms.

      Say what area needed reform
      What area not needed reforms.
      Do you want to send ladies into become
      Lady imams
      Lady clerics
      Lady mufthi
      Or as Thasleema Nasreen wants to have ?
      What ?

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        More than all else, I’d like minimum age of marriage raised to 18. Below that there won’t be sufficient mental, emotional and social maturity.

        Also, the world is over-populated – especially what we refer to as the “Third World”. Here it is common for Sinhalese to claim that since Muslim population is increasing, we must compete. This is NOT in the interest of the WORLD as a whole. Now people seem to live for ever and ever, because of advances in Medicine.

        *

        That Muslim population growth is somewhat more than that of other groups is true, what is really happening is that people with relatively little education are having more children. Also, those with higher educational attainment are migrating to other countries, preferring countries where Whites are the dominant group.

        *

        The relationship between educational attainment and genetics is not simple, with certain other factors also being operative, but there surely is a high correlation between high academic performance and “favourable” genes. This trend of migration cannot do anything but harm to the world over-all. Does all this sound presumptuous and sanctimonious, but I am spelling out some of my cogitations.

        Will continue . . .

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        Continuing . . .

        Those are thoughts that do exist in my mind, but that is NOT the reason why I think that we should lend some outside support to this most helpless lot of human beings. We are citizens of a Nation State. All our citizens must enjoy a certain minimum degree of dignity. It is for this reason that we must insist on reforms in MMDA in our State. Ultimately we must say that those who cannot conform must leave our society. Actually isn’t it funny that migration is lowest among our Muslim community? But I have digressed there.

        I recognise that my thinking will be rejected by many Muslims because they imagine that what they advocate is the will of Allah. Well, for me it seems so obvious that every religion without exception was given its most distinctive features by the background from which it arose. As society changes, so religions must adjust – somewhat more slowly.

        *

        For me, there seem to be certain moral laws that stand ABOVE all that any given religion says. Few clergy will agree, that is the problem with organised religions. However, for me, it seems important to limit the application of these supposedly more fundamental principles to only limited areas. Does this make sense? I hope so; I can prove little!

        There are new trends in gender matters, but what we must recognise is that ultimately we exist as different genders so as to ensure that our species continues. Therefore, we must recognise that we must be concerned about heterosexuality before considering all sorts of individual variations. This is why we must not undermine the efforts of Muslim women to liberate themselves by bringing all sorts of other complications.

        *

        Let us help them from outside in a realistic way, as “old codger” has suggested.

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        Continuing . . .

        Please try to understand that some of us, old codger, too, has surely made that clear, are, actually fighting “Islamaphobia” almost as resolutely as you are. We are NOT trying to undermine all of Islam, or undermine the position that adherents of your society enjoys in society, or undermine the reputation of your religion and thereby your right to operate as free and equal members of our society.

        Dr Amir Ali is a decent man who is able to practice Islam in Australia. You have challenged him to come to commit himself to living in Sri Lanka. Then what will happen? You will not accept him, and many non-Muslims have already been turned in to “Islamaphobes” by YOU. Dr Amir will be spurned by the Sinhalese and the Tamils the moment they learn what his name is. You must face up to the fact that this is the effect that all extremists have on humans belonging to other groups. So, the lunatic fringe of Tamil nationalists are feeding the likes of Gnanasara and and HLD Mahindapala. Why don’t you counter what we are saying.

        *

        I grant that relatively few Muslim girl-children are married off to old men; but a few are. We are only asking that such practices be stopped. That measure, I say is necessary. We are not talking about other issues like your right to dress differently. Such things will never be the subject of AGITATION by us. I may consider it sensible to let clothes evolve in such a way as to reflect the practicalities of living. That doesn’t mean that I ADVOCATE immodest dress, although my objections may not be as strong as yours – or shall I try to be more specific? My understanding of what is immodest may not be the same as yours.

        I am personally disgusted at the thought of any sort of sex other than heterosexuality. However, I will not go to the extent of brutally persecuting gays and lesbians as you may. Please desist from deflecting this very serious discussion of the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS of human beings by dragging all these issues in to it.

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    Dr. Ameer Ali

    You have referred to “Muslim women’s struggle for freedom, justice and inequality.”

    Can you give specific examples of Muslim women being denied “freedom, justice and equality” and the role of MMDA in perpetuating this situation by reference to specific provisions in the MMDA?

    “misogynic sermons dished out during Friday prayers where the imams fervently justify the prevailing gender inequality as equality in their version of the Divine Law, the sharia.”

    This is Totally Incorrect. During the last 30 years I have been in Colombo, I can hardly remember any Friday sermon in the mosque I attend in Colombo on “gender inequality”, leave alone justifying it. Being in Australia, you cannot have any personal experience in this matter. Either you are guessing or you have been misinformed.

    “the women are disallowed to attend these sermons right throughout the country. Here lies a major issue for Muslim women to fight for and win: the right to enter mosques to pray.”

    Seems you have got it wrong. In the first place, there is NO compulsion on women to attend Friday prayers as in the case of men. Therefore mosques, which always overflow on Fridays, have no facility to accommodate women. As for other prayers, wherever possible, many mosques have a special area for women to pray. So, there is really nothing for women to “fight for” in this regard.

    If “irresolute Muslim intelligentsia have progressively abandoned Muslim women’s struggle for equality and justice.”, why don’t you come to Sri Lanka and take up the Muslim women’s struggle for “equality and justice.”, whatever it may mean, instead of lecturing from Australia?

    .

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    Why have Lankan No 3, No 2 & No 1 gone silent? I was asked to state what I desired to do for the Muslim women of Sri Lanka. I have done so, but there has been no response from them. Why not?

    *

    If by the time you see what I have said here, comments on this Dr Amir Ali article have closed, please state what you have to say below my comments on this article:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/realizing-muslim-womens-rights-when-is-the-right-time/

    If there is no response, may we conclude that you have nothing to say in defence of your barbarism?

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