August 22 was a historic day for Muslim women in India. A Supreme Court verdict freed them from the misogynistic talaq-e-biddat (or triple talaq in a one sitting). It should be noted that this kind of divorce was until now practiced only in India.
Many Muslim women had become victims of this kind of divorce practiced freely and unilaterally by Muslim men, who used the shield of religion to justify this practice. Muslim women united to oppose this patriarchy and demand the right to freedom of equality.
Obviously, this empowering decision was praised by many Muslims as well.
Welcome decision by Supreme Court to declare #TripleTalaq unconstitutional. Will give Muslim women security. Gender justice is much needed
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) August 22, 2017
देश की मुस्लिम औरतों की आन-बान-शान ऊँची रखने के लिए सर्वोच्च अदालत का शुक्रिया। तीन तलाक़ कह देने का ग़ुरूर गया जहान्नुम में #TripleTalaq
— Rubika Liyaquat (@RubikaLiyaquat) August 22, 2017
But not everyone was happy as can been seen from how a group of men hurled abuses and heckled a Muslim female journalist at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The journalist, Ilma Hasan of India Today, was speaking to women outside the AMU campus on the road seeking their views on the verdict. While praising the verdict, the women expressed highly optimistic views about a better world for Muslim women.
Everything was being recorded by the camera person accompanying Hasan. At this juncture, a group of men, some of whose faces can be clearly seen in the camera, interrupted.
They gang up on Hasan preventing her from speaking to the women. The men can be heard asking Hasan whether she had sought “permission from PRO” and demanding to see that permission.
Hasan said that in a span of 2-3 minutes around 15 men surrounded her. They then harassed and abused the journalist.
When she threatened to call the police, they audaciously challenged her to call the cops.
— India Today (@IndiaToday) August 22, 2017
Later, Hasan told her channel that the gang of men have been preventing women from AMU from speaking on the issue not just at the spot where the incident happened but around the University as well.
But Hasan’s courage in the face of the goons who abused her has been praised by many on social media:
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) August 22, 2017
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) August 22, 2017
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) August 22, 2017
— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) August 23, 2017
— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) August 22, 2017
— Ved Tiwari (@VedTiwari) August 22, 2017
— Abhisar Sharma (@abhisar_sharma) August 23, 2017
— Prerna Koul Mishra (@prernakaul) August 22, 2017
What is important to note here is that the incident exposes a reality of India. Patriarchy is not a ‘Hindu’ problem, as some enlightened guardians of Liberal-Secular values in our society and the media would want us to believe. Patriarchy and orthodoxy are present in every religion. So this incident shows the reaction of a conservative male-dominated Muslim society.
Unfortunately, not everyone would talk about this in that same vociferous manner if ‘Hindu’ goons had done this to a journalist. And that silence of the secular brigade on matters related to fascism when it comes from Muslim males is another big problem.