By Syed Ubaidur Rahman
It used to be common belief that media has always been on a lookout to find issues about the abuse of Muslim women to malign Muslims and Islam. But now the truth is that media is not waiting to find issues anymore—it is concocting issues by itself!
In the past few days a name has been repeatedly been mentioned in media and TV channels are repeatedly showing a news about this certain Maulana. A gullible viewer is likely to believe in this news at first glance. Even thoughtful viewers might be taken in by the news, and not figure out the extent of fabrication that media now resorts to.
But a more discerning and perspicacious viewer might want to see both sides of the story, so here is the other side of the story.
The news is that allegedly, in a program in Kanpur Maulana Salahuddin Saifi of Gujarat said that it is wrong for a woman to earn if a man is around in her household. Despite the news, it is still not clear if the concerned Maulana did say this. It was followed by media going to Maulana Nadeemul Waajidi for his opinion. But the latter says that media has grossly misquoted him.
Popular news in media is that a fatwa was given by Maulana Nadeemul Waajidi. According to Maulana, a reporter from channel Aaj Tak came to him to take his opinion about Muslim women working outside the house. Maulana gave his opinion but the reporter misquoted the cleric and presented the interview in a very different light – which bent his opinion into meanings that the Maulana had certainly not intended.
Maulana Nadeemul Waajidi says that his actual statement was, “If the husband has died or is unable to earn due to some sort of disability then there is nothing wrong in the wife going out to work. If a woman feels the need to earn, then also she can go out to work and earn money. For example, if a woman wants to become a pilot then it is absolutely right in Islam and Sharia law for her to become one. But the actual belief in Islam, under normal conditions, is that the woman should take care of the household while the man should take care of matters outside the household.”
Maulana Nadeemul Waajidi says that media just aired a part of his statement out of context, thus completely changing the meaning of his statement.
It was also said in media that Maulana Nadeemul Waajidi is the state member of the organisation Jamiat-e-Ulama e Hind and is also associated with Darul Uloom Deoband.
Despite this news, reality is that the only connection of Maulana with Deoband is that he is a resident of the town. Neither is he any member of any organisation nor is he related to Darul Uloom in any way.
An interesting fact, which was completely ignored in the media is that Maulana is actually the head of a madarsa for Muslim girls, namely ‘Maahada Aaisha Siddiqua Qasim Uloomul lil Banaat’. About 450 girls study in his madrasa. This madarasa has about 25 women employees.
When juxtaposed to these facts, the fabricated news reaches the level of spoof. When the Maulana himself runs an educational institute for girls and employs women there, how can he give such contradictory statement! This rather throws light at the degradation of media. And this debasement on the part of media is not new.
There was neither any fatwa nor any controversial statement. But the media, for lack of any defaming news against Islam, decided to create one. This has been going on for a long time, but has gone up substantially since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power with a massive mandate. The pro-BJP media has been taking incessant aim at the reputation of Islam and is resorting to false news to malign the community and the religion where it can find none.