BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday dubbed the fatwa issued by Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband against Muslim women watching football as "ridiculous".
Mufti Athar Kasmi of Darul Uloom Deoband had on Tuesday said that watching men 'playing with bare knees' violated the tenets of Islam and was forbidden for women. The cleric had also lashed out at the men who "allow" their wives to watch football.
Swamy took a jibe at Darul Uloom Deoband and said, "Tell men to wear long pants and play football."
"This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. The men wear shorts so the women might see their bare legs and get excited? What is this nonsense?," Swamy told ANI.
"They will become the laughing stock of the world. This country is on the constitution, not on the basis of Quran. These elements are trying to impose ancient ideologies in our country," he added.
The Deobandi cleric had also quoted a fatwa issued by a muslim cleric of Saudi Arab. The Saudi cleric had said that it was unacceptable for women to watch football - live or on television.
Kasmi's decree came even as the Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia allowed women to watch matches in soccer stadiums earlier this month.
About 13 percent of India's 1.3 billion people are Muslim and the majority of them are Sunni but the country's secular constitution ensures that decrees such as Kasmi's have no legal force. Recently the seminary issued a fatwa asking Muslim women not to visit beauty salons or wear tight clothing.