The Christian Science Monitor is running a piece this week entitled “India awakens to its other pariahs: Muslims,” by Mark Sappenfield. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Indian Prime Minister says that Muslims should have the first claim on the country’s resources, and now there is this:
“Shariat courts protected under Muslim personal law: government,” from IANS, with thanks to Fjordman:
New Delhi, Jan 5 : The government Friday informed the Supreme Court that Muslims under their personal law have a right to establish Shariat panchayats to settle disputes between two people and fatwas issued by these courts are not in conflict with or parallel to the Indian judicial system.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian stated this before a bench of judges A.R. Lakshmanan and Altamas Kabir hearing a petition from advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan seeking a direction to refrain the All India Muslim Personal Law Board from establishing a parallel Muslim judicial system (Nizam-e-Qaza) in the country.
Since most of the other respondents had not filed their responses to the petition, the bench adjourned the hearing by 12 weeks.
In his public interest petition, Madan submitted that a Muslim woman Imrana was allegedly raped by her father-in-law and the village panchayat passed a fatwa asking her to treat her father-in-law as her husband.
The Darul-Uloom also declared that Imrana could not live with her husband. This was endorsed by the AIMPLB. He sought a declaration that the fatwas pronounced by various authorities were unenforceable, to direct the central and state governments concerned to take steps to disband the Dar-ul-Qazas forthwith.
In its reply, the central government said “freedom guaranteed by Article 26 of the Constitution to every religious denomination or every section thereof to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes and to manage its own affairs in the matters of religion would include the freedom to establish Dar-ul-Qaza/Nizam-e-Qaza (Shariat panchayats) to settle disputes between two persons professing Islam, according to Shariat.”