The Samastha Kerala Jem’iyyathul Ulema — a Muslim scholarly body — on Saturday defended the controversial comment of its leader Abdulla Musaliyar during a madrasa event at Malappuram where he said young girls should not be invited to public stages.
A video of Musaliyar chiding organisers of the event for inviting the Class 10 girl on stage was criticised widely and even drew a reaction from Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.
Addressing the media, Samastha leaders justified the stand, saying the body does not follow the practice of having men and women together on stage.
Sayyid Muhammed Jifry Thangal, president of the Samastha, said neither the girl nor her family had any complaints.
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“Abdulla Musaliyar has not insulted the girl. If he had to insult the girl, he would have stopped her even before she came on the stage. When the award was given to the girl, Musaliyar looked at her face and realised she was uncomfortable as she had to come to the stage where the Ustads were seated. Understanding this problem for the girls, he told them not to call other girl students on stage. This was not to insult the girl student but to ensure that the child doesn’t feel bad.”
He added that Samastha is an organisation that supports women’s education.
Musaliyar, who was seen getting angry in the video, said: “Samastha is an organisation that works for the education of children, especially women. I have inaugurated colleges for women when others opposed it. I go to give certificates to the students every year but we call their guardians on stage and give them the prize. Samastha does not have the practice of women and men sitting together on stage. We don’t bring women on stage.”
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