Srinagar: Mumbai-based legal luminary A G Noorani says that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which he refers to as an incarnation of Jan Sangh, is set to wipe out Muslim law and enforce a uniform civil code. This has become one of the emblems of the right wing party, he says.

“Narendra Modi made Muslim personal law embodied in the Sharia a target of his campaign. He picked on the one feature that many Muslims themselves were moving towards reforming because they saw it as contrary to religious injunctions— the triple talaq. His concern for Muslim women’s welfare was not very evident when, as Gujarat’s chief minister in 2002, they were raped and murdered on his watch. Now he and his henchmen are posing as their liberators,” Noorani says in a Dawn article published on Saturday.

He says that the BJP is out to exploit a problem already on the verge of a solution.

“Some high courts’ judges departed from the beaten path and believed that the existing Muslim law on divorce had no sanction in the Quran. Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer of the Kerala High Court, who rose to become an Indian Supreme Court justice, said as far back as in 1970 that ‘a deeper study of the subject discloses a surprisingly rational, realistic and modern law of divorce’,” Noorani says.

Quoting from Pakistan’s Family Laws, Noorani says, “Section 7 of the Pakistan’s Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 establishes an arbitration council, and mandates conciliation and a 90-day interim before a divorce is affected. Sadly, the organisations that profess to represent India’s Muslims on this issue studiously ignore this law — and thus play into the hands of the BJP, defying Muslim women’s bodies that are committed to the Sharia but that want the triple talaq to go.”

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