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India: Statement in Protest Against Muslim Right Wing Attack on Women’s Reservation Bill

21 March 2010

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Picture of Protest Sit-in on 20 March 2010
at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Not in Our Name!

We the undersigned Muslim citizens as well as secular activists support the Women’s Reservation Bill which is the first step towards equality and justice for women. We believe once the Bill is adopted there can and will be democratic processes through which space and genuine participation for excluded women including Muslim women can be worked out. However, it is shocking the way some religious leaders are opportunistically using the debate on the Bill to make reprehensible statements in national media about women and their role in society.

Some men claiming to be clerics have made statements in the national media such as “ Allah sent women on earth to give birth to children and raise them to be doctors and engineers.” “Auraton ka kaam he achchi nasl ke bachche paida karna”. “What do women know about politics? Their place is at home.”

We strongly condemn these irresponsible and disgraceful statements. They are not just ludicrous but also extremely dangerous in thought and intent. They are not only anti-women, unjust, inhuman and violative of the letter and the spirit of the Constitution of India, but in our view also un-Islamic. This is nothing but patriarchy masquerading as Islam so we say to them loud and clear: Not in our name! Every Indian who believes in justice, equality and democracy must oppose these. As Indian Muslims and as secular citizens we are also seriously concerned that these fascistic outdated, outmoded male chauvinistic utterings have come to signify the voice of Muslim community. We state that these men may speak for a section but we question their posturing as spokesmen of all Muslim men, leave alone women. Muslim women are equal citizens and fully capable of speaking for themselves. Equally well, we challenge their partisan, male-centric interpretation of Islam. We urge friends in the media not to give undue space to these elements to spread their divisive and retrograde beliefs. As in other communities there are enough sane and progressive voices, both male and female, that need to be brought together and amplified.

- 1. A.A. Sheikh, Gujarat
- 2. Abdulsalam.A.Shaikh ,The Noor Education Trust
- 3. Abid Surti, Writer, Mumbai
- 4. Adhveta Marathe ,Oxfam India Trust
- 5. Amena Khatun A. Aziz, Gujarat
- 6. Amit Sengupta, journalist, Delhi
- 7. Annu, Nazareth Mahila Samiti, Delhi
- 8. Anup Kumar Srivastava , PWESCR, New Delhi
- 9. Priti Darooka , PWESCR, New Delhi
- 10. Anwar Rajan, Pune
- 11. Anwar Veerji ,Sanchetna
- 12. Appu Esthose Suresh, Correspondent, The Sunday Guardian
- 13. Aseem Srivastava
- 14. Aslam Khan, AISA, Jamia Millia Islamia
- 15. Avalokita Dutt, Delhi
- 16. Avinash Pasricha, Freelance photographer
- 17. Ayesha Bano Pathan ,Manav Sewa Trust
- 18. Ayesha Pathan, Gujarat
- 19. Aziza Ahmed, human rights lawyer, New York
- 20. Azra Abidi, Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi
- 21. Babu Mathew, Action Aid India.
- 22. Banubi Basha, Mahila Kamgaar Sanghatana, Mumbai
- 23. C K Subair, Kerala
- 24. C Saratchandran, Documentary Film-maker, Kochi, Kerala
- 25. C.D. Chauhan, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 26. Cedric Prakash ,Prashant
- 27. Charul Bharwad ,Loknaad
- 28. Digant Oza ,All India Secular Forum
- 29. Dilip Simeon
- 30. Dolphy D’souza, The Bombay Catholic Sabha, Mumbai.
- 31. Syed Zafar Mahmood, President, Interfaith Coalition for Peace, New Delhi
- 32. Chandrakant Puri, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai
- 33. Faizan Haider Naqvi, Delhi
- 34. Gagan Sethi, Gujarat
- 35. Gauhar Raza, Scientists, Delhi
- 36. Gaurang Rawal ,Drishti Media
- 37. Gautam Thakker ,PUCL
- 38. Geeta Dharmarajan, Katha, Delhi
- 39. Ghanshyam Shah, academician, Gujarat
- 40. Gulshan Khan, Hamraaz Legal Cell, Mumbai
- 41. Hanif Lakdawala ,Sanchetna
- 42. Harsh Kapoor, Delhi
- 43. Harsh Mander ,Aman Biradari
- 44. Hiren Gandhi ,Samvedan Cultural Program
- 45. Hozefa Ujjaini ,Aman Samudaya
- 46. Iftikhar A. Khan, Vadodara, Gujarat
- 47. Indu Kumar Jani ,Naya Marg, Gujarat
- 48. Iqbal Baig, Samerth, Gujarat
- 49. Irfan Engineer, CSSS, Mumbai
- 50. Ishaque Arab, Aman Biradari
- 51. Jamila Khan, Gujarat
- 52. Javed Akhtar
- 53. Javed Ameer, Action Aid, Ahmedabad
- 54. Javed Anand, Muslims for Secular Democracy, Mumbai
- 55. Jimmy Dabhi, Kabul
- 56. Juzar S Bandukwala, Baroda
- 57. Jyoti Punwani, columnist, Mumbai
- 58. K.A. Sheikh, Gujarat
- 59. Kamala Bhasin, Sangat
- 60. Kamini Kapadia, Child Rights Activist, Mumbai
- 61. Keshubhai Patil, Aman Samuday, Gujarat
- 62. Khairun (PARWAZ)
- 63. Khairun N. Hur, Parwaz Sangathan, Gujarat
- 64. Khatunbibi M. Shaikh, Gujarat
- 65. KP Sasi, Documentary Film Maker
- 66. M.A. Sheikh, Gujarat
- 67. M.A.Karimi, Gujarat
- 68. Maherajbibi B. Pathan, Gujarat
- 69. Maherunnisa, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 70. Maimudi, Gujarat
- 71. Mallika Sarabhai and Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad
- 72. Manas Ranjan, Action Aid, Bhuvaneshwar
- 73. Manisha Trivedi, Anhad, Gujarat
- 74. Manjula Pradeep (NAVSARJAN TRUST)
- 75. Manoj Sharma, Anhad, Gujarat
- 76. Manshuri Nasimben, Gujarat
- 77. Mansi Sharma, Anhad
- Md. Ashraf Ali, Right Track, Kolkata
- 78. Meena Jagtap (DASTAK)
- 79. Meera Malik (CENTRE FOR DEVELOPMENT)
- 80. Mehamuda Patel, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 81. Mehjan , Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 82. Mohan Bhagat, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, US
- 83. Mukund Sindhav (HUMANIST RATIONALIST ASSOCIATION, GODHRA)
- 84. Nadeem Ahmed, Editor – The Sunday Indian (Urdu)
- 85. Nadim Nikhat, CSJ, Gujarat
- 86. Nafisa Barot (UTTHAN)
- 87. Nahid Siddiqui, Delhi
- 88. Naish Hasan,Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Lucknow
- 89. Najmabanu, Gujarat
- 90. Nargis Tariq Husein, Concerned Individual, Bahrain
- 91. Naseem Mansuri (NISWAN)
- 92. Naseem Shaikh (NISWAN)
- 93. Naseeruddin Shah, Actor, Mumbai
- 94. Natvarbhai, Aman Samuday. Gujarat
- 95. Neela Limaye, Maharastra Mahila Parishad, Mumbai
- 96. Nida Kirmani, University of Birmingham, UK, UK
- 97. Nidhi Bhardwaj, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 98. Nitin More, LEARN, Mumbai
- 99. Noor Subasha, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 100. Noorjahan Ansari (NISWAN)
- 101. Noorjahan Diwan (BHARTIYA MUSLIM MAHILA ANDOLAN)
- 102. Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Mumbai
- 103. Nupur Sinha (CENTRE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE)
- 104. Praful Bidwai, columnist, Delhi
- 105. Prasad Chako (NCDHR)
- 106. Amit Bhaduri, JNU, New Delhi
- 107. Angana Chaterjee, California Institute of Integral Studies, USA
- 108. Rekha Pande, Centre for Women Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad
- 109. Punam Kathuriya (SWATI organization)
- 110. Purshottam Waghela (MANAV GARIMA)
- 111. Pushpa Achanta - Bangalore based freelance writer and volunteer
- 112. Qudsiya Contractor, Student, TISS, Mumbai
- 113. Rafi Malik
- 114. Rajgopalan, Course Director, CDIT, Trivandrum, Kerala
- 115. Raman Mehta, Action Aid, Delhi
- 116. Rashida Ansari,Aman Samudaya, Gujarat
- 117. Razia Rehman, Hukook-e-Niswan Sanghatana, Mumbai
- 118. Razia Shaikh, Mahila Kamgaar Sanghatana, Mumbai
- 119. Razzak Mansuri, Urja Ghar
- 120. Ritu Pathak, Mumbai
- 121. Romel Sutariya, Indian Socity Youth Org, Gujarat
- 122. Rubina Nafees Fatima, Safa Society Hyderabad
- 123. S.A. Sheikh, Gujarat
- 124. Sabiha Hussian, Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi
- 125. Sachin Pandya (ANHAD)
- 126. Sameera Khundmiri, Centre for International Programs, Osmania University, Hyderabad
- 127. Samina, Parwaz Sangathan, Gujarat
- 128. Saminabanu Afazalbhai Fakir, IDP,Gujarat
- 129. Sarita Bisora, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 130. Sarup Dhruv (DARSHAN)
- 131. Satinder Bhagat, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, US
- 132. Seema Duhan, Anhad
- 133. Sejal Dave
- 134. Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad , Delhi
- 135. Shagufta Shaikh, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 136. Shaheen Sayed Kadri, Jt. Sec, Minority Development Dep, Mantralaya, Mumbai
- 137. Shahjahan Mirza, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 138. Shaikh Vahida, Jan Surjan Trust, Gujarat
- 139. Shalehabanu Ayubbhai Sheikh, IDP, Gujarat
- 140. Sheba George (SAHRWARU)
- 141. Shehnaz Ansari (AMAN SAMUDAYA)
- 142. Shobha Ramachandran, Books for Change, Bangalore
- 143. Shweta Karkera, ACTIONAID INDIA, MUMBAI
- 144. Sofia Khan (SAFAR)
- 145. Sohail Hashmi, New Delhi
- 146. Sudhir Joglekar, Pragati Nagrik Sanghatana , Belgaum, Karnataka
- 147. Sujaat Vali ,Humanist Rationalist Association, Godhra
- 148. Sulekha Ali (ARZOO)
- 149. Sumitra Thakker (ANANDI)
- 150. Sushila Prajapati (ACTION AID)
- 151. Teesta Setalvad, Co-Editor Communalism Combat, Mumbai
- 152. Vijay Parmar (JAN VIKAS)
- 153. Vinay Mahajan (LOKNAAD)
- 154. Vrinda Grover
- 155. Waqar Qazi (ANHAD)
- 156. Yasmin Sayyed, Freeelancer in the field of Health and Human Rights, Mumbai
- 157. Zaid Ahmed Shaikh
- 158. Zain Rahimtulla, New Delhi
- 160. Zakia Soman, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Delhi
- 161. Zubeda Malek, Sahrwaru, Gujarat
- 162. Zulekha A. Multani, Sahrwaru, Gujarat

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