Muslim women should not watch men with 'bare knees' playing football, says Deoband Islamic cleric
A senior cleric at an influential Islamic seminary issued a religious decree saying that Muslim women should not watch men playing football.
Lucknow: A senior cleric at an influential Islamic seminary issued a religious decree saying that Muslim women should not watch men playing football.
Mufti Athar Kasmi said that watching men "playing with bare knees" violated the tenets of Islam and was forbidden for women. Kasmi is a cleric at Darul Uloom, Asia's largest Sunni Muslim seminary in the northern town of Deoband.
The cleric also lashed out at men who allow their wives to watch football, even on television.
"Do you have no shame? Do you not fear God? You let her watch these kinds of things," he said in his sermon Friday.
Kasmi's decree comes after the Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia allowed women to watch matches in football stadiums earlier this month.
"Why do women need to watch these football matches? What they will gain by looking at footballer's thighs? Their attention will be on that only and they will even miss the scores," Kasmi said.
Darul Uloom, in Uttar Pradesh, is a more than 150-year-old seminary that teaches Sunni Hanafi jurisprudence.
The seminary's rigid interpretation of Islam is the ideological foundation for many hard-line religious groups, including the Taliban movement in Afghanistan.
About 13 percent of India's 1.3 billion people are Muslim and the majority of them are Sunni, but the secular Constitution ensures that decrees such as Kasmi's have no legal force.
On Tuesday a Muslim women's rights activist in the northern city of Lucknow decried the decree.
"It implies that Muslim women should not watch any athletic event, tennis matches or swimming championships. How it can be immoral for a woman to watch men playing sport?" Sahira Nasih said.
The seminary recently issued a fatwa, or religious decree, asking Muslim women not to visit beauty salons or wear tight clothing.
The deceased inmates have been identified as gangster Anshu Dixit, Merazuddin alias Meraj Ali, and Mukeem Kala, officials said
As US readies to exit Afghanistan, India-Pakistan proxy war likely to be last thing on General Bajwa's mind
Any instability following the American withdrawal from Afghanistan is sure to trigger further waves of instability in Pakistan’s notorious tribal belt, and even mainstream provinces
Unseen Warriors of COVID: 'Death and grief has made us numb,' say Aligarh's overworked frontline workers
A large number of deaths and the atmosphere of helplessness around have also affected the doctors significantly, making them numb sometimes, or a soft target for the angry patients and their kin at other times