Noor Jahan, Nasreen Contractor, Javed Anand and Feroze Mithiborwala at the press conference. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
Noor Jahan, Nasreen Contractor, Javed Anand and Feroze Mithiborwala at the press conference. Pic/Sneha Kharabe

Barely a month since they successfully ensured the entry of women in the Haji Ali Dargah, the Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan has found its next mission.

Bring together the secular men and Muslims in their fight against injustices. To that end, it has now collaborated with around 100 other Muslim men and women across the country to form the 'Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy'.

“It is a collective fight. Why should only women keep struggling, keep fighting? She doesn't even get justice and gets blamed for fighting for her own rights,” said Noorjahan, co-convener of IMSD. Though IMSD is open to all individuals with secular ideals, the prime responsibility will lie within the community, clarified its members.

“Though there is no rule in Quran that prohibits women from entering a dargah, there are many in Mumbai that won't let me enter even today. They give several reasons like masjid management disagreement, but through this organisation, a campaign in full force against this discrimination will be undertaken,” said Noorjahan.

The newly-formed alliance will not just tackle issues like triple talaq, halala and polygamy, but also take a stance on issues of the LGBTQ community within Muslims. “There is a movement for recognition of the rights of the LGBTQ community going on. A similar space to fearlessly say what one wishes to needs to be created in the Muslim community,” said Nasreen Contractor, co-convener.

Meanwhile, the plan of action for the already ongoing campaigns in the field of gender justice, Female Genitial Mutilation (FGM) and right to choice of dress is going to be expanded to draw in youth participation by way of launching a social media blitzkrieg.

Question of Indian
However, convenor Javed Anand, brushed off the suggestion that the usage of Indian was to appease the government, and said, “Often, we are asked if we are Muslims first and Indians later; I hope the name of the organisation clears those doubts.”