India: Female Muslim leader says women in tight clothes “pollute the environment,” provoke rape

Atiya Siddiqua is working from the assumption that it is a woman’s responsibility to make sure a man is not tempted, and her fault if he is. This is the assumption behind honor killing and the punishment of rape victims, which is all too common in some Muslim countries.President of the women wing of Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Atiya Siddiqua made the remarks at the sidelines of a function held for removing misconcepts about Islam.

In a statement that is ought to stir a hornets’s nest, a Muslim woman cleric on Friday said that women who wear tightly-fitted clothes are like pollutants who cause harm to to the society. The cleric went on to blame ‘such women’ for increased incidents of rape in the country and said that such women are as dangerous to the society as is the disease of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).President of the women wing of Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Atiya Siddiqua made the remarks at the sidelines of a function held for removing misconcepts about Islam. Responding to a jourrnalist’s question on why Muslim women are supposed to cover themselves while there was no such condition for men, Siddiqua said purdah is in the best interest of women.

“A woman should cover herself for her own safety because we don’t know with what intentions men may look at us. Bepurdah (uncovered) women are polluting the environment. There is concern in about air pollution, water pollution but the biggest pollution for the society are bepurdah (uncovered) women. It is these women who are polluting the enivironment…The disease of AIDS is spreading, rape incidents are increasing on this account. Women who wear chust (tight) clothes pollute the enviornment.”Siddiqua also went to state that women should roam out only when it is essential. “Mard baahar ghoomte hain. Aajkal aurtein bhi baahar ghoomti hain. Bacche kahaan jayenge phir agar dono baahar rahein. Aurton ko sirf basic needs ke lie nikalna chahie. Ye chhezein Bhartiya sabhyata ke bhi khilaaf hai (Men go out. These days women are also out all the time. In such a scenario, where will the children go? Women should come out of homes only for their basic needs. These things are against Indian culture.)”

Siddiqua, along with some other Muslim clerics, was one of the speakers at a function organised by JIH for creating awareness about Muslim Personal Law. Just like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMLB), JIH also strongly opposed Centre’s stand on the issue of triple talaaq and Uniform Civil Code. JIH announced that it kick off the two-week long countrywide initiative titled ‘Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign’ (MPLAC).“There is a need to educate, uplift and morally reform the Muslim society as a whole. A primary reason for violation of Shari’ah (Islamic laws) is lack of awareness among the Muslims. But these things can be taken care of by creating awareness and there is no reason to interfere with the Muslim Personal Law.”…

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