Temple ban

Maharashtra government supports women who seek entry into Haji Ali

A view of the landmark Haji Ali shrine is seen in Mumbai on Febuary 7, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Sajjad HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Maharashtra’s BJP government has extended support to the lifting of the ban on women’s entry into the Haji Ali shrine. For a woman to enter the tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, the mosque’s Sufi saint, is currently considered a “a grievous sin” because they are seen as impure. Noorjehan Niaz, co-founder of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), who is suing the mosque, said that trustees cited menstruation as a reason women are banned. According to petitioner Raju More, the shrine’s official website states that no one was buried inside the tomb.

In an official statement made by state advocate general Shrihari Aney to the High Court, the government wants The Dargah Board to prove that the restriction of entry is in accordance with what is written in the Quran. The debate is taking place concurrently with similar cases pertaining to women’s entry into temples, such as the Shani temple in Shani Shingnapur and the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

Read the full story at The Times of India.


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