Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) is shocked by the decision of a masjid committee in Kerala asking a Dalit Muslim to stay away from a general meeting on the ground that “traditionally your ancestors were prohibited from attending the general meeting” (https://sabrangindia.in/casteism-in-the-kerala-muslim-community-dpjc-strongly-objects/).
There is no concept of caste in the religion of Islam but evidently caste and caste-based discrimination remain part of the shameful reality of lived Islam in South Asia and elsewhere too.
We stand in solidarity with the Dalit Pasmanda Collective Justice Project (DPCJP) who have condemned such blatant discrimination by the ‘Puthoorpally Muslim Jamaath’ mosque in Changanassery, Kerala.
The DPJC has demanded that the Kerala government and police take “strong action against these hate-mongers who hold casteist/racist beliefs.” Else, “we will take action against them in our own manner.” We support the democratic right to peaceful protest.
In principle, IMSD is opposed to all forms of caste-based discrimination. In the context of Muslims it is also bad politics considering that the ruling-BJP is working overtime in their attempt to woo Pasmanda Muslims and Muslim women to the saffron camp.
We call upon all Muslim organisations and individuals to demand that the concerned mosque committee in Changanassery apologise to Dalit Muslims and end the discriminatory practice.
- J. Jawad, IMSD Co-convener, Advocate, Channai
- Akbar Shaikh, Farmer, Activist, Solapur
- Anjum Rajabali, Film Writer, Mumbai
- Arif Kapadia, IMSD, Business, Activist, Mumbra, Thane
- Arshad Alam, IMSD, Columnist, New Age Islam, Delhi
- Askari Zaidi, IMSD, Senior journalist, Delhi
- Aziz Lokhandwala, Businessman, Mumbai
- Feroze Mithiborwala, IMSD Co-convener, Mumbai
- Gauhar Raza, ANHAD, Scientist, Poet
- Jasbeer Mustafa, Scholar, Australia
- Javed Anand, IMSD, Convener, Mumbai
- Kasim Sait, IMSD, Businessman-philanthropist, Chennai
- Khadija Farooqui, IMSD, Gender Activist, Delhi
- Madhu Prasad, IMSD, Educationist, Delhi
- Mansoor Sardar, IMSD, Bhiwandi
- Masooma Ranalvi, IMSD, We Speak Out, Delhi
- Mohammed Imran, PIO, USA
- Muniza Khan, IMSD, Varanasi
- Nasreen Contractor, IMSD Co-convener, Mumbai
- Nasreen Fazelbhoy, IMSD, Mumbai
- Nuruddin Naik, Businessman, Activist, Mumbra, Tnane
- Qutuib Jahan, NEEDA, Mumbai
- (Dr) Ram Puniyani , IMSD, Author, Activist, Mumbai
- Rashida Tapadar, Academic, Activist, Nagaland
- Riyaz Shaikh, Mumbai
- Sabah Khan, IMSD, Parcham, Mumbai
- Saleem Saboowala, Activist, Mumbai
- Shabana Mashraki, IMSD, Consultant, Mumbai
- Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD
- Shama Zaidi, Documentary Film Maker, Mumbai
- Sheeba Aslam, Fehmi, IMSD, TV Commntator, Delhi
- Sultan Shahin, Editor-in chief and publisher, New Age Islam, Delhi
- Teesta Setalvad, IMSD, CJP, Mumbai
- Zakia Soman, BMMA, Delhi
- (Dr) Zeenat Shaukatali, IMSD, Wisdom Foundation, Mumbai
- Zulekha Jabeen, IMSD, Activist, Delhi