The statement came after this reporter questioned Azmi about SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's comments on rape. He said. "Rape ke liye phaansi dena galat hai. Ladkon se galti ho jaati hai, hum satta mein aaye to kanoon mein badlav karenge." (It is wrong to give death sentence for rape. Boys make mistakes. If we come to power, we will change the law.)
This comes after three men found guilty of gang-raping two women in the abandoned Shakti Mills in Mumbai last year were given death sentence by a court recently. The men were convicted under a new legal provision (Sec 370 E of the IPC) that punishes repeat offenders in rape cases with a life term or death sentence. [Also read: Why is Mulayam Singh Yadav 'defending' rapes?]
On being asked by media about his views on this heinous crime, Azmi replied that rape was punishable by death in Islam. "Rape is punishable by hanging in Islam. But here, nothing happens to women, only to men. Even the woman is guilty."
Azmi further added, "In India, if you have sex with a person with consent, it's fine. But if that same person complains, it's a problem. Nowadays, we see a lot of such cases. Girls complain when someone touches them, and even when someone doesn't touch them. It becomes a problem then, and the man's honour is ruined in this. If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam."
When asked for a solution to the problem of rapes, Azmi had this to say: "Solution is this: any woman if, whether married or unmarried, goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn't be allowed even if a woman goes by consent."
Later, contradicting his own statement, Azmi said, "If someone rapes a woman, she shouldn't be punished, ladki to bechari hai. The whole country should stand with her. But, what is happening, on the other hand, is that if the girl goes and does it with consent, even that shouldn't be allowed."
Farhan Azmi, son of Abu Azmi, contesting in LS polls from Mumbai North Central constituency, did not agree with his father and party leaders' views. "I believe a rapist should be hanged a hundred times. I have five sisters and everyone in my family believes the same."