A jamat called a bench of judges ‘kafir’ because of an order “unacceptable” under Islamic laws. Must have been in Pakistan, you say. Sorry, folks, this happened in India.
The incident happened early in June this year but was not given the kind of attention it deserved perhaps because it happened in South India – and the elite MSM thinks that Lutyen’s is all of India. Another reason could be because the virus of political correctness has started infecting the media, the guardians of FOE and the so-called secular-liberal intellectuals (in other words, the istophobes).
The news was first reported by The Hindu on June 9. It was then picked up on June 13 by Live Law and The New Indian Express.
It so happened that a sub-court had ruled in favor of a Muslim woman, Naseema, who was given triple talaq by her husband calling it null and void.
A district court had then overruled the sub-court order. Following this, the woman approached the High Court which put a stay on the district court order, effectively passing an order in favor of the woman.
It is this decision which triggered the anger of the fundamentalists.
The Tamil Nadu Jamaathul Ulama Sabha censured the woman’s father for approaching the court. They issued a written fatwa in which they reportedly said that the father “ought not to have gone to the High Court where kafir judges are passing orders against Islamic and Quranic injunctions”.
Calling the High Court order “wrong”, the Jamath added that they will not permit the passing of such orders.
This enraged the High Court.
While disposing off a petition of the husband against a cheating case filed by the woman against him and his family, Justice P.N. Prakash criticized the fatwa in very strong words.
“This court places on record its strong disapproval of the Fatwa issued by the Jamath in Theni district denigrating the judiciary and chastising Naseema’s father for having approached the secular courts established by law for redressal of their grievances redressed.
This is indeed disturbing.
Albeit boycott of courts by lawyers, the present court system only gives identity and respect to the advocates in our society. Judges are only passing features as they have to move out of the portals of the court on superannuation.
If Jamaths are going to replace existing courts, the first casualty will be the Bar. One of the blackest days in the annals of the judiciary was on August 8, 2016, when the fundamentalists killed 54 lawyers in Pakistan’s Quetta district.”
Every sentence in the court’s criticism of the jamat is correct. In fact, the existence of such jamat’s which directly challenge secular courts is threat to democracy and Constitutional rights. Calling a court ‘kafir’ is a grave insult of the judiciary. Since fatwas have a deep influence over most Muslims, such fatwas puts the nation’s security and secularism at risk.
This is why the court was right in observing that the fatwa is “disturbing”. It is true that such fatwas are openly issued in Pakistan, which has an Islamic judicial system allowing for fatwas and other Islamic injunctions.
What is equally surprising is the fact that the mainstream media and elite journalists who are always finding ways to denigrate the Center over FOE, freedom of food, and every other freedom they can conceive of, overlooked this insult of the nation’s judiciary by a fringe religious body. It should also be noted that none of them are strongly standing with the women who want a ban on triple talaq or the government’s attempt at introducing a Uniform Civil Code for all irrespective of religion.