Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
By India Cause, Telegraph India correspondent and DNA Special Correspondent
12 April 2014
Samajwadi Party's Maharashtra Chief Abu Asim Azmi today stoked a controversy saying adults indulging in pre-marital sex are "polluting" Indian culture, a day after party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav triggered a row with his rape remarks.
"In modern times, people have forgotten our culture and religion. Religion is important in India and no Hindu or Muslim will tolerate unmarried men and women cohabiting and doing things only married couples are supposed to do," Azmi said, adding that Islamic law provides for punishment for such conduct.
Samajwadi Party's Maharashtra Chief Abu Asim Azmi
However, sensing that the comment may cause damage to the party's image in run-up to elections, the SP blamed the media for "distorting" the statements made by Azmi and Mulayam.
"The sole aim of such misinformation by the vested interest is to cause electoral loss to the Samajwadi Party in the present election," SP spokesperson Abdul Kadir Chaudhary said.
He further said, "The SP opposes any sort of crime against women. The party is always in favour of respect for women and their safety".
Azmi had said that "no decent, cultured family will allow their women to do such things. Islam provides for punishment for such conduct.
"Today, America and other modern countries are beating 'Damru' (pellet drum) and drawing us towards their culture. Their culture is polluting our culture," he added.
The SP Maharashtra president's son Farhan Azmi is in poll fray from Mumbai North Central seat along with incumbent Congress' MP Priya Dutt and BJP's Poonam Mahajan.
"The party has always opposed any crime against women and organised demonstration to this effect. The SP has been demanding and always opposed uncultivated behaviour in public, alcoholism, drug abuse. It was due to this, the statement of party leaders is presented in a distorted manner," Farhan said.
Farhan came out in his father's defence saying his viewpoint needs to be understood in the Islamic context, as the religion prohibits pre-marital sexual activity.
"He is only trying to say an Islamic point of view. I feel that the entire country is being run by courts, by the constitution of our country and not by everyone who follows Islam. I respect the rule of Islam and I believe that Islamic rule if implemented, we must hang the rapist," he said.
Farhan further noted that consensual sex is a matter which is private between two adults. "I think they are free by the constitution and they are free to do it barring in public domain. Consensual sex cannot be acted upon," he said.
"Islam is against sex before marriage and I think it is an important view with which all the Muslims would agree with but to wrap the entire country under that rule will not be correct," Farhan added.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had kicked up a major row by questioning the death sentence awarded to three men who were convicted of two gang rapes at the defunct Shakti Mills in Mumbai last week.
"Ladke, Ladke Hain. Galti Ho Jati Hai (Boys are boys. Mistakes happen sometimes)," he had told a rally in Moradabad yesterday.
In a bid to contain the damage, the party spokesperson recalled how the SP had supported former bandit Phoolan Devi who had faced utmost atrocities in the society.
"She was made an MP on party ticket. Mulayam Singh has conveyed this message of respect for women and empowerment of women," Chaudhary said.
Muslim Women Protest Against Abu Asim Azmi Remark
12 April 2014
Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan activists protest outside the women’s commission office in Bandra on Friday Shraddha Bhargava Chaturvedi DNA
A large number of Muslim women on Friday protested outside the state women's commission office in Bandra against the comments made by Samajwadi Party (SP) state unit chief Abu Asim Azmi. The women expressed their ire at the remarks of Azmi and his party's national chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
While Yadav said in an Uttar Pradesh election rally that rapes happen due to little mistakes of boys, and hence, they shouldn't be given capital punishment, Azmi suggested capital punishment for rape victims.
"I think, he has gone mad. How can he put a rape victim on a par with the person who commits the crime. This only shows the mindset they have," said Noorjehan Safia Niaz of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which led the protest rally.
"The statement was made to ensure that some people who have a patriarchal mindset vote for them. It is this very mindset that has not allowed women's rights bills to be passed in Parliament. We will shortly be demanding that the party be de-recognised," Niaz added.
The state women's commission, on the other hand, has issued a notice to Azmi. "We strongly condemn what he said. In today's times, women are not required to be told what they should be doing. They know what to do and when to do. The worse part of his statement is that he roped in religion. Women are coming out in large numbers to vote. We have issued a show-cause notice to him and asked him to be present before the commission on April 25," said Susie Shah, chairperson of the commission.
When contacted, Azmi denied having made the "hang the rape victim" comment. He said, "Only a stupid person can say that. I did not say anything of that sort. With respect to the other things, I did not give any Bhashan; I just said what Islamic law has to say. In our country it (live-in relationship) is allowed. I will respond to the state commission notice and clear the misconception. Only a mad man can say that a rape victim should also be hanged. Even if I happened to say that, I am sorry for it. But, as per Islam, unmarried people in adultery are punished by caning."
Hang Women If They Have Sex: Abu Azmi
Our Special Correspondent
Mumbai, April 11: Abu Asim Azmi, the Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra chief, has said that women who indulge in consensual sex outside marriage should be hanged, drawing angry reactions from women’s activists and Bollywood celebrities.
Azmi’s comments first came in an interview to a Mumbai tabloid published this morning, but he repeated the remarks to news channels. Yesterday, Samajwadi boss Mulayam Singh Yadav had said that rapes sometimes happen because “boys make mistakes”, so it was wrong to hang people for rape.
Reacting to Mulayam’s comments at a Moradabad rally, Azmi said: “No parents in our Indian culture would agree if their daughter goes out with another man, and indulges in something wrong. But… if a girl does it, she will be awarded the death penalty. What I mean is that if there’s rape, then there should be punishment. But on the other hand… if two people go to a hotel and have sex with consent, even that should be banned. They should be punished with death by hanging.”
Azmi’s comments sparked off angry reactions on social media. His restaurateur-son Farhan Azmi, who is the Samajwadi candidate against Priya Dutt from Mumbai North Central, and daughter-in-law Ayesha Takia distanced themselves from the comments, saying they were “embarrassed and ashamed”.
“If wot I am reading about my father in laws statements r true then me and Farhan are deeply embarrassed n ashamed... We surely do nottt share this mindset... its disrespectful to women. if these statements r true then its sad,” tweeted Ayesha, the model-turned-actress who has starred in several films, including Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dor.
More reactions poured in on social media on both comments. Film-maker Onir tweeted: “He should be IMMEDIATELY ARRESTED SHOCKING — Women having sex should be hanged, says Abu Azmi.”
Actor-director Farhan Akhtar, who launched the social campaign Men Against Rape and Discrimination after the 2012 Delhi gang rape, tweeted: “Cannot get over MS Yadav’s comment on rapists -- ‘Boys will be boys. They make mistakes’. It’s pathetic. Abu Azmi meanwhile, wants to hang women who willingly have sex. I think he needs to hang up his boots & seek medical attention ASAP.”
Actor Arjun Rampal tweeted: “The comments by our political giants on rape victims are downright appalling. Let those boys make the same mistakes on their mothers and sisters.” Actress Divya Dutta said: “But with no bias, why is everyone slapping Kejriwal! Why don’t they dare it with a few others?”
Actress Shruti Seth echoed her: “Are the leaders of the Samajwadi Party playing tag in making stupid comments? They seem to be on a roll. Someone slap them please.”
Director Sanjay Gupta said: “Mulayam Singh and Abu Azmi. Regressive, redundant and retarded thinking. Absolute shame! Are they looking for votes of rapists?”
Actress Amrita Puri tweeted: “There is something intrinsically wrong with the mindset of Indians if leaders like Abu Azmi can make such regressive public statements. People like Abu Azmi just go to show what a long way India has to go for women’s liberation and empowerment to become a reality.”
Azmi later issued a clarification saying his remarks were made in the context of an increasing number of complaints where women have consensual relationships and later lodge fake rape complaints.
Samajwadi spokesperson Abdul Qadir Chaudhary said in a statement that the party opposes all forms of exploitation of women, and has always fought for women’s respect, safety and protection.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Neemal Gorhe said: “There can be debates about whether death penalty should be given under 376 E, or fake rape complaints, but gang rapes cannot be termed a mistake. Mulayam Singh Yadav has been trying to divide votes on the basis of religion. Now he’s sending the message to women voters that he’s with the rapists.”
B-Town Condemns Abu Azmi, Mulayam Singh Yadav over Rape Remarks
By A correspondent
With SP leaders Abu Azmi and Mulayam Singh Yadav facing flak from all quarters for their controversial statements about rape, Bollywood celebs including Azmi's daughter-in-law Ayesha Takia Azmi take to Twitter to voice their opinion. Here's what they say...
Ayesha Takia Azmi: We surely do nottt share this mindset...its disrespectful to women. if these statements r true then its sad... If what I'm reading about my father-in-law's statements is true then me and Farhan are deeply embarrassed and ashamed... We surely do not share this mindset... It's disrespectful to women. If these statements are true then it's sad.
Farhan Akhtar: Cannot get over MS Yadav's comment on rapists- 'Boys will be boys.. They make mistakes'. It's pathetic! Abu Azmi meanwhile, wants to hang women who willingly have sex. I think he needs to hang up his boots & seek medical attention ASAP.
Rakhi Sawant: Mulayam Singh Yadav must be Voted out for #BackingRapists Thats why i say Women like me needs to be in Parliament for making strong laws...Wondering what made Abu Azmi to say that... Shameless people..
Arjun Rampal: The comments by our political giants on rape victims is down right appalling. Let those boys make the same mistakes on their mothers and sisters.
Divya Dutta: But with no bias why is everyone slapping Kejriwal! Why don't they dare it with a few others?
Shruti Seth: Are the leaders of the Samajwadi Party playing tag in making stupid comments? They seem to be on a roll. Someone slap them please.
Sophie Choudry: Appalled and infuriated! Victim should be punished for rape? Sick! Maybe we should all be punished for allowing such leaders to f*ck us every day!
Sanjay Gupta: Mulayam Singh and Abu Azmi. Regressive, redundant and retarded thinking. Absolute shame! Are they looking for votes of rapists?
Nikhil Advani: At least we can object and react. I pity the people around Mr. Abu Azmi who have no choice but to tolerate such an individual.
Amrita Puri: There is something intrinsically wrong with the mindset of Indians if leaders like Abu Azmi can make such regressive public statements. People like Abu Azmi just go to show what a long way India has to go for women's liberation and empowerment to become a reality.
Andy Vijay Kumar: Shocking! 'Women should be punished if they are raped' 'Women having sex should be Hanged' Abu Azmi is he sane? Should this man be in power?
Vinay Pathak: And to hear such atrocities from our so called protectors and representatives! What could one say, do, that defies them? Isn't he a reminder of who, what we have become largely? And the most terrifying part is that they might get elected again...
Vir Das: Abu Azmi.....What a steaming pile of horseshit... I'm sorry... I know this isn't funny... I didn't think he deserved a punch line.
Anjana Sukhani: Mulayam now Abu Azmi. What's wrong wth these senile oldies. They make demeaning statements for media attention. Retract and apologise. Do you think we are fools?
Raveena Tandon: Malayan Singh Yadav and Medha Patkar !!!!!!!!!! Really ??????? And you think now India will vote for you?
Jose Covaco: Whenever a politician says something insanely ridiculous, you can be sure we're being distracted from some huge scam somewhere.
Kamaal R Khan: Mulayam said boys should not be punished if they rape girls and Abu Azmi said that girls should be hanged if they have sex. They are mentally sick people. Women should attack and throw stones on houses of SP leaders all over India to teach them lesson so they will learn to respect women.