The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) organised its annual meet on Sunday night to reassert its opposition to Uniform Civil Code and demand for a separate Waqf Board.
The Board passed a resolution with a slew of other demands that include schools and colleges, introduction of Imam Hussain in school syllabus, reservation of seats for the community, space for burial grounds, permission for Moharram and the Indian government’s intervention in urging the Saudi Arabian regime to allow Shias to make a mausoleum at the grave of Prophet Mohammed’s daughter.
The meeting was held at the Masjid-e-Iranian (commonly known as Mughal Masjid), Bhendi Bazaar, and was attended by maulanas from across the country.
AISPLB General Secretary Maulana Yasoob Abbas said, “Common Civil Code was among the first issues to be raised. Not only should it not be implemented, the government should not even think about it. It will be an attack on personal law. Not just Muslims, the other communities will suffer as well,” he said.
Maulana Jafar Abbas from Mumbai said when the Waqf Board is the same for both Shias and Sunnis, their share gets eaten up and they don’t get anything. He also pitched for low cost marriages and funerals in the community. He added, “We are a minority within a minority and want a Sachar-like commission. If there is anything done by the government, our brothers (Sunnis) eat up everything….”
It was estimated at the meeting that there are eight crore Shias in the country. It was proposed to have a province-level count to get a better idea for the demand on reservation like other communities. While Maulana Ejaz Athar from Uttar Pradesh called for a representative member from the community, Maulana Zaheer Abbas said the focus should be on education than anything else.
The Board’s president, Maulana Syed Saim Mehdi said, “As we are Muslims, many aspects under the scanner get associated with us. In the case of triple talaq, we had to tell the government that Shias do not practice it and it is a Sunni practice. It was only then that it was mentioned in the judgement. He added that the Board had to be formed because they were not being heard properly by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
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