Kerala: Cleric disappointed over school award organisers inviting girl student on the stage

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Thursday, May 12, 2022

M.T. Abdullah Musaliyar, head of School board Samastha Kerala Sunni Vidyabhyasa Board , having approximate ten thousand madrasas in Karala, a southern state of India, got telecasted live while expressing disappointment to their school award organisers for inviting the teenage awardee girl student Mashida P. V. on stage instead of giving award for her in her parents hands as per their organizational orthodox policy of gender segregation. Though the girl who walked on the stage was in full abaya and hijab.

The instance occurred at madrassa building inauguration function which was held as part of the annual event of the Darul Ulum Madrasa at Ramapuram near Panangangara in Perinthalmanna, Dist. Malappuram. The school functionaries invited the girl on to the stage to receive an award for excellence in education. The award memento was presented to the girl by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader Panakkad Sayed Abbas Ali Shihab Thangal. Instantaneously Abdullah Musliyar, the institution's clerical dignitary, publicly criticized the school organizers in the presence of the girl by pointing out that this was against the institutional ideology of Samastha.

As per reports, " .. Who invited a Class 10 girl to the stage? If you do this again... Don't call girls like this on stage, are you not supposed to call parents as per Samastha rules ? Did you call her ? .. Did not you do something that is not supposed to happen when we all sit on stage ? Won't this appear in photos and telecast? .. “ the cleric said on the stage.

According to Mathrubhumi, a Kerala based news media, Samastha Kerala Jem'iyyathul Ulema defended Musaliyar's remarks saying, Samastha views matter in religious manner being a religious orgnisation. MT Abdullah Musliar said Samastha looks after girls with the due respect and dignity but Samastha policy does not permit women and men on equal footing and that no one has the right to say that Samastha policy needs to change.

As per Kerala Kaumudi, the video came to light from the 'Sunni Ulama Followers' Facebook page related to Samastha. According to the news reports, the incidence got criticized, including on social media from some progressive civil society, where as some other sources went on to defend the cleric's position and equated the criticism to Islamophobia. According to the Governor of the State Arif Mohammad Khan, while many social and political voices seem to have preferred silence rather than taking a progressive stand, Governor Khan said rather such discrimination towards female students itself becomes root cause of Islamophobia.