Days after the remarks made by a Muslim scholar at an event in Malappuram district against inviting a girl on stage sparked controversy, the Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama on Saturday justified his action, saying it was done to avoid causing any inconvenience to the student who was feeling bashful, and others gathered there.
Jifri Muthukkoya Thangal, the president of Samastha, rejected the charges that the girl, a class 10 student, was ‘insulted’ during the function and claimed that neither she nor her family had lodged any complaint in connection with the incident.
He pointed out that the scholarly body held certain beliefs and judgements, which cannot be changed. Even the usage of the word ‘insult’ was wrong in this context, Thangal said adding that there was no custom for men and women to share a stage together in Samastha (All Kerala Ulema Association), he added.
”While looking at her face (during the function), the scholar realised that the girl was feeling shy to come onto the stage, where ustads (scholarly persons) were seated. He thought the other girls might also would have the same fear if they were invited to the stage. That’s why he asked the organisers not to call such girls to the dais,” he said.
The organisers of the event were not chided to insult the girls, but to avoid causing any inconvenience to the girl student, while being invited to a public platform, he explained.
The incident occurred during the inauguration of a ‘madrassa’ building in Malappuram district, where students were felicitated recently.
The memento was handed over to the girl by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader Panakkad Sayed Abbas Ali Shihab Thangal.
Soon after the award was handed over, M T Abdullah Musaliyar questioned the organisers as to why the girl was invited on stage.
Political parties, people from various walks of life including Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, and MLAs criticised and condemned his comments.