Darul Uloom bans entry of women, says they made reels; activists say unfair - Hindustan Times
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Darul Uloom bans entry of women, says they made reels; activists say unfair

ByS Raju
May 17, 2024 04:17 PM IST

Activists said it was unfair to blame women alone for making reels, and argued that Darul Uloom could restrict outsiders from bringing their mobile phones in

MEERUT: Influential Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in western Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district has banned the entry of women and girls on the ground that “reels” were being shot on its campus and circulated on social media, triggering criticism of the decision for being “anti-women” and unfair.

Darul Uloom Deoband said entry of women and girls was already banned in Rashidia mosque which has now been extended to the entire premises (File Photo)
Darul Uloom Deoband said entry of women and girls was already banned in Rashidia mosque which has now been extended to the entire premises (File Photo)

Maulana Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, the seminary’s Mohatmim, or vice chancellor, said the decision was taken on Thursday after multiple complaints were received from people across the country about “reels’ or short video clips, shot on the campus and shared on social media.

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He said such videos had hurt the sentiments of the seminary’s many admirers apart from distracting students.

Entry of women and girls was already banned in Rashidia mosque which has now been extended to the entire premises. “Guards at the gates have been directed to inform female visitors about the ban and persuade them to return,” the vice chancellor said.

“We didn’t stop entry of anyone till the admission process was underway but classes have started now, therefore we can’t allow outsiders to enter the premises,” he added.

Social activist and Supreme Court lawyer Farha Faiz said many Hindu shrines also barred people from making reels but it could not be used to ban entry of women. “How could they say that only women were indulged in making reels? The order should have been against making reels inside the premises or to ban carrying mobile,” she said.

Rehana Adeeb of Astitva, a non-profit that works against women violence in Saharanpur, said the order was “anti-women” and against the concept of gender equality.

She said that she and many women used to visit Darul Uloom’s Fatwa department, library and meet teachers to discuss different issues and to seek their advice on them. “How can these women visit the seminary after such a ban order?” she asked, underlining that the seminary could ban making videos, fine violators or even ban outsiders from carrying their mobile phones inside. But how can, she asked, only women be blamed for making videos inside the premises.

Iram Usmani, a social activist in Deoband, expressed her disappointment over the decision. “It will send a wrong message about the seminary,” she said, wondering what would happen to the women scholars and girl students who came to the seminary and its library.

Aamna Roshi, who is associated with the women’s organisation ‘ Muttahid Khawateen’, however, said the seminary, an educational institution, had lately been turned into a ‘tourist spot’ and that she had seen a large number of women visiting the seminary on a picnic, making reels and jeopardising the seminary’s dignity. “I think a ban on such crowds would help to keep the dignity of the seminary intact,” she said.

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