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Mosque Bans Women…


AHMEDABAD: Notices prohibiting entry of womeninside the historic Sidi Saiyed mosque, the symbol of Ahmedabad’s heritage, created a controversy on Women’s Day.
The architectural marvel in the heart of the city, was the centre of attraction when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited it with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie. They got a red-carpet welcome last September.

Situation changed later with four notice boards put up at the mosque banning women entry. They read, “Lady visitors are not allowed to enter the masjid premises under any circumstances. They should see the site from the water hoj (tank for ablutions) or garden side only.”


The listed monument is maintained by and is under the ownership of the Ahmedabad Sunni Muslim Wakf Committee, which takes a keen interest in promotion of city heritage. Its chairman, himself a professional architect, Rizwan Qadri was hard put to defend the gesture. He said, “People consider the mosque as public property and manage it in the way they think proper according to their religious belief. When we learnt about such notices, we issued instructions not to take such a stand. We are going to remove the notices from the mosque,” he said.

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Qadri further said that women’s entry is sought to be restricted under two circumstances only, at the time of mass prayer and when a woman tourist is skimpily clad. “When they write ‘under any circumstances’, they mean to say that women are not permitted during menstrual cycles, but since those who manage daily affairs at the mosque do not know English, they end up in making such errors,” he added.


“A woman visitor can cover her head with scarf while entering the mosque,” Qadri explained.


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