After LG’s call, Jama Masjid Imam recalls order banning entry of ‘girls’ | India News

NEW DELHI: Unable to withstand widespread criticism, both on social media and from women’s organisations, Jama Masjid management has withdrawn a controversial order banning “unaccompanied girls” from entering the mosque, with the exception of prayer services. Previously issued notices regarding the ban have also been removed from the portals.
The decision to withdraw the order was made after the deputy governor of Delhi VK Saxena spoke to Shahi Imam Ahmed of Jama Masjid Bukhari and asked him to cancel the order. Imam Bukhari agreed, asking visitors to respect and maintain the sanctity of the mosque.
“Although we have removed the notifications from the portals, our chowkidar will monitor all activity. Girls who are found to be indulging in unwanted activities will be stopped. Their parents will also be notified,” Bukhari said TOI.
He added that mosques are for prayer, not meeting or socializing places for anyone. “Only Muslim girls are caught loitering around,” he declared, adding that there were no restrictions on them when praying at the mosque.
An earlier notice posted at the entrance read: “Jama Masjid mein ladki ya ladkiyon ka akele daakhla mana hai (A girl or girls are not allowed to enter the Jama Masjid on their own).
Earlier on the same day, Jama’s public relations officer Masjid Sabiullah said that the decision was made after several unexpected incidents were reported in the mosque’s premises. “This is a religious place and people come here to worship, not to entertain. This place is for prayer, not enjoyment, and restrictions are placed on them only,” he said. However, he has no answer as to why only girls are banned and boys are not.
The decision provoked fierce reactions from people on social media, who described it as a setback. In response to the decision of the Jama Masjid administration, Zakia Soman from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) says that it shows the mindset of those who take up such responsible positions. “They don’t accept women as human beings,” she said, adding that this is not only a religious site but a heritage site and they cannot ban tourists from going there. She added that they think they can solve any problem by imprisoning women.
Agreeing with a similar view, Hasina Khan from Bebaak Collective said: “This is nothing new. Actually, the problem is in the thinking process because they think that women will make these pure places unclean and that’s why they limit their mobility.”
Head of Women’s Division Delhi (DCW) Swati Maliwal Call it a violation of women’s rights. In her tweet, she said, “I am giving notice to the Imam of the mosque. No one has the right to ban women from entering the country.”
The notice stated that the committee was aware of suo-motu about media reports of restricting women to mosques. She suggested withdrawing the ban. The commission also sought to ban women and girls “without male companions” from entering the Jama Masjid.
The commission also sought details on who was responsible for limiting the entry of women and girls into mosques and the steps taken by the authorities to remove the restrictions. The Commission also sought an action report taken from the Shahi Imam by November 28.
Maliwal said, “Jama Masjid in Delhi is a historic mosque and women have been going there to perform religious activities without any restrictions for a long time. Preventing women from freely entering and practicing their religion in a mosque is highly discriminatory and an extremely retrograde practice as a place of worship should be open to everyone, regardless tell their gender. Such an imperative is clearly unsuitable for women and goes against the ethos of the Indian Constitution. These instructions must be withdrawn immediately. We have made an announcement and will take action.”
Late in the evening, she welcomed Shahi Imam’s decision to withdraw the announcement.


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