Kerala Legislative Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan told media persons on Friday that Muslim places of worship should also become part of the renaissance movement by allowing women’s entry. The discussion has opened up recently after a Kerala-based Muslim women’s rights group decided to approach the Supreme Court demanding the entry of women in mosques across the country in October. A right-wing Hindu organisation also moved Kerala High Court seeking entry of Muslim women in mosques but the HC dismissed the plea.

Speaking about the Sabrimala issue, Sreeranakrishnan said replacing the Constitution with beliefs is unfair. “Renaissance Movement is the pride of Malayalees. It should have a continuation. If we turn our back to it, we will travel back in time,” he added.

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He referred to the Temple Entry Proclamation in 1936 and said that it not only helped the less-privileged to visit Hindu shrines but also helped a good majority of less-privileged Hindus to formally enter the community. Along the same lines, when reporters questioned him if Muslim women should get an entry in mosques, he said mosques should also become part of the  movement.

Renaissance Movement is the pride of Malayalees. It should have a continuation. If we turn our back to it, we will travel back in time.

NISA, a progressive women’s forum announced to seek entry for women in Mosques not just to pray but also to employ them as Imams (clerics). NISA president V P Zuhra told PTI that there were no records stating that the Quran and Prophet Muhammad had opposed women entering mosques and offering prayers.

“Like men, women also have the constitutional rights to offer worship according to their belief. So, like in Sabarimala, we want the entry of women in all mosques, cutting across denominations and establish their right to worship,” the activist said.

The Supreme Court in September allowed women of all ages to enter the controversial hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Kerala. However, since the judgement, the temple has opened its gates twice, but women see great resistance from the devotees and have not yet entered the temple, even after the Police and the state government have vowed to help them.

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