Women activists protest for entry into Haji Ali Dargah

| Friday, January 29, 2016 - 15:12
First Published |
Haji Ali Dargah
Mumbai:  After protests from women activists all over the city about entry into the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra, Muslim women activists have also taken to protesting for allowing entry in the Haji Ali Dargah .
Several Muslim feminists and women activists held placards and shouted slogans to demand entry into the Dargah on Thursday. 
The Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and dargah (tomb) located on an islet off the coast of Worli in the Southern part of Mumbai. It contains the tomb of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. 
Women’s entry was banned in the mosque's mausoleum in 2011. Calling the ban fair and just, Rizwan Merchant, trustee of the Dargah said that women’s entry was prohibited in view of their safety. The trust had told Bombay High Court that it was a "grievous sin" in Islam for women to be in close proximity to a male Muslim saint's grave.
The protest was led by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. Zeenat Shaukat Ali, professor of Islamic Studies at Mumbai's St Xavier's College was also an active participant of the protest. She said that discrimination against women was against the tenets of Islam. The professor also said that such bans were imposed due to male chauvinism and patriarchy and religion had nothing to with it.
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