Are there no men left? Ahmedabad cleric says 'giving election tickets to Muslim women against Islam'
The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad strongly opposes the idea of giving tickets to women as they will have to conduct door-to-door campaigns if they contest elections and speak to everyone regardless of their religion.
Ahmedabad, Dec 04: The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad kicked up a row by saying that giving election tickets to women is against Islam and doing so weakens the religion.
His statement comes on the eve of the second and final phase of polling for the Gujarat Assembly elections. The Shahi Imam, Shabbir Ahmed Siddiqui, said women are not allowed to offer Namaz (prayer performed by Muslims) because they have a certain position in Islam.
"If you talk about Islam...Do you see even a single woman offering Namaz? Namaz has great importance in Islam. Had it been justified in Islam for women to come before people, they (women) would not have been stopped (from entering) the mosque," the Shahi Imam said.
"Women are stopped from visiting mosques because they have a certain status in Islam. Whoever (whichever party) gives tickets to (Muslim) women rebels against Islam. Don't you have men (candidates) that you are bringing in women? This will weaken our religion," he added.
Voting for 93 out of 182 Assembly seats will be held across 14 central and northern districts of Gujarat on Monday.
The first phase of voting for 89 seats in Saurashtra, Kutch and south Gujarat regions was held on December 1, when an average voter turnout of 63.31 per cent was recorded. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.The BJP and the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP are contesting in all the 93 seats.
The Congress is contesting in 90 seats and its alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has fielded candidates in two seats. Among other parties, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) has fielded 12 candidates and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 44.
The 93 Assembly segments which will go to polls on Monday are spread across Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Gandhinagar and other districts.