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The fatwa against all-girl band will have little affect on women's rights in Kashmir: Qurat Masoodi

IBNLive.com
Feb 06, 2013 at 06:51pm IST

How do the fatwa and the subsequent disbanding of the all-girl band affect the women's rights movement in Kashmir? Social activist Qurat Masoodi joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. How do the fatwa and the subsequent disbanding of the all-girl band affect the women's rights movement in Kashmir? Asked by: Isha

The fatwa against all-girl band will have little affect on women's rights in Kashmir: Qurat Masoodi

How do the fatwa and the subsequent disbanding of the all-girl band affect the women's rights movement in Kashmir?

A. This fatwa will have little affect on women's rights in Kashmir. In some sections of the media an attempt is being made to project kashmir in a wrong way. Let me say it with full sense of authority that though their is room for improvement but we have a far more liberal and broad minded society at least when it comes to women rights.

Q. Over the last few years, has there been an Islamisation of the Valley? Yesterday, I went to the band's FB page and saw vitriolic and fanatic comments from almost 100 per cent Kashmiri Muslims. As an Indian Muslim, I found this strange as Kashmir had a very strong Sufi, tolerant tradition. What's your opinion about this wave of Wahabism which also threatens other parts of the Muslim world? I live in Mumbai and there are girl members in many bands here. No one seems to bother. Asked by: Zahir

A. There are such people in every community, we cannot paint the whole community with the same brush. We have got many organisations in india who threaten people not to celebrate valentines day and they even go the the extent of visiting restaurants and other such places and roughing up the people physically. Now we do need to understand is that such people do not represent the whole country which is far more liberal.

Q. Fatwa means a legal opinion,whether you follow it on not.then why is hue and cry about this issue. Asked by: shams

A. That's what I want to say why to blow the issue out of proportion, there are many other issues in Kashmir which need consideration. I have been dealing with the issue of orphans since years but unfortunately nobody seems to be bothered. I would like to raise a question here that I have tried to raise the issue of orphans at what ever stage I could. The condition of the orphans here in Kashmir is pathetic to say the least. Adolescent boys and girls are been made to live together. This is unacceptable in Islam and in every other society in India. I did not see an opinion from any Grand Mufti regarding the issue. Neither did I witness TV debates being organised on this issue.

Q. When an Iranian girl Band named "Ghazal Band" can perform freely that too in Iran then why not Kashmir's Pragash. How does relegion differentiates between these two bands. Asked by: Narendra

A. The religion does not differentiate at all..it's the matter of personal choice ..I don't consider singing appropriate therefore I didnt become one..but I don't have a right to threaten anyone not to do it...Islam also says so that 'there should be no compulsion in religion'.

Q. Tomorrow there will be a fatwa on people's opinion. Is this the step towards Talibanisation? Asked by: EMathew

A. If you talking about Kashmir, by the grace of god we are progressing...there is and never will be any restriction on freedom of thought nd expression. Let me tell you that fatwa does not mean anything more than an opinion. If a person gave an opinion about something this in itself means that anybody is free to express his or her views.

Q. Is music and singing curtailing religious belief? For eons we have used music and songs as a way to de-stress our selves? Asked by: EMathew

A. I'm not a religious scholar, it would have been appropriate if you had posed this question to someone who is.

Q. Are we moving forward as a nation or moving backwards as human beings? Asked by: EMathew

A. I endorse your both the comments. We are definitely moving forward as a nation but a lot remains to be achieved to be good humans.

Q. In today's world & time don't you feel women being forced into burqua with only the whites of their eyes showing out is obscurantism & mediviel mind set of a few mullahs? Can you blame little girls from feeling threatned & towing the Mullah line? Shades of Mallalah in India . Your thoughts - or do you also chicken out to the Mullahs? Asked by: Abdullah -Tellicherry

A. As I said in my earlier answers that I am against any kind of coercion and so is Islam. I would advice you and everybody not to be swayed by anti-Islamic propaganda designed to tarnish the image of Islam. Let me give you an example. Sikhism is one of the greatest religions and I respect as I do to any other religion. Sikh men do not cut their hair for life and wear a turban. Have you ever heard anyone saying that Sikh men are being subjugated and they are being forced to wear the turban. It's the matter of personal faith and choice. Let me add that if we force someone to wear a burqa it is wrong and condemnable. But so is forcing women not to wear a one as is being done in some western countries.

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