“Yes, that is true and I am filing a complaint with the Mumbai police,” Akhtar, a recently nominated Rajya Sabha member, told IANS here Saturday afternoon.
Though he declined to elaborate, some television reports claimed that Akhtar has been threatened by unknown persons sympathetic to the Darul-Uloom Deoband, an apex body of the Deobandi sect of the Sunni Muslims.
Recently, the sect had issued ‘fatwas’ (edicts) prohibiting Muslim men and women from working together in offices, saying Muslim men should not live off their wife’s salaries, and most recently, prohibiting Muslims from opting for life insurance.
These edicts have been viewed with concern in the community and many have expressed their reservations about accepting them and Akhtar had also expressed his views on the issue.
A Muslim scholar, Mohammed F. Ghosi, said that the edicts must be viewed with proper reference to the context in which they were issued.
“Contrary to general perceptions, these edicts are not binding on the people at large, it is up to the people to choose and decide whether to follow them (the edicts). The ‘fatwa’ is merely showing what the Muslim Shariat Law stands for on any particular issue,” Ghosi, chairman of Bandra Muslims Association, pointed out.
While urging the media to delve into the context in which the edicts were issued, Ghosi also urged Akhtar to first enquire the factual position with the religious heads before criticizing them.