India's answer to Women of the Wall? Muslim women demand use of Mumbai mosque

Fight to allow women into shrine gained momentum after a petition was lodged with the Supreme Court.

By REUTERS
February 9, 2016 15:33
1 minute read.
india muslim

Indian Muslim women at a mosque in Mumbai [Illustrative]. (photo credit: PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

MUMBAI - Officials in the western Indian state of Maharashtra said they were in favor of allowing Muslim women full access to a landmark mosque in Mumbai, bolstering a nationwide campaign to allow women entry to all places of worship.

Lawyers for the state, backing a petition filed by two Muslim women in the high court in Mumbai, the state capital, said on Tuesday the government could not deny the women equal rights.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The Haji Ali dargah Trust has said it would be a "grievous sin" to allow women near the tomb of the 15th century Sufi saint housed within the mosque.

The mosque, built on an islet about 500 meters from the coast, can only be reached at low tide and draws tens of thousands of worshippers. The fight to allow women into the shrine gained momentum after a petition was lodged with the Supreme Court demanding access for women to the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in southern Kerala state.

The Mumbai high court had earlier said it might wait for the Supreme Court ruling on the Sabarimala case before it took a decision on the Haji Ali dargah petition.

Also in Maharashtra, women activists clashed with police last month as they tried to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple, one of a handful in the country which deny women entry. State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke out against discrimination in worship and said tradition must accommodate change.

The protests have also played out on social media, with #RighttoPray and #LetWomenPray trending on Twitter. Activists say the restrictions are based on patriarchy and not religion.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


"Whether any authority governing a place of worship is empowered to prohibit women's entry, in clear violation of the constitutional mandate of equality, is the issue which our courts have to decide," said Flavia Agnes, a women's rights lawyer and co-founder of Majlis legal center in Mumbai.

"It will have a far-reaching impact upon women's rights in other spheres as well."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Protesters with painted faces pray in Cambodia
November 16, 2018
U.N.-Cambodian court convicts two former Khmer Rouge leaders of genocide

By REUTERS