New Delhi, Nov. 24 (NNN): An alleged sex scandal has rocked the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPB) so much so that it was forced to postpone its general body meeting -- scheduled for December 24 -- for two months.
"The general body meeting has been postponed for two months because the local reception committee expressed its inability to organise it," AIMPLB spokesman SQR Ilyas told rediff.com website.
A new venue for the meeting has not been specified.
Though Ilyas refused to link the decision to the sex scandal, one AIMPLB member said, "Due to public anger [over the scandal] it would have been difficult to organise the meeting in Kerala. The issue is very hot there."
IUML leader and Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty is the main accused in the scandal, involving five minor girls eight years ago.
Regina, 24, and mother of a child, claimed that some people in Kozhikode district had molested her and four other girls. One of those was Kunhalikutty, according to her.
The scandal has drawn lot of criticism for the IUML from the opposition Left parties and women's organisations. The public is also angry.
Two crucial issues were to be debated in the AIMPLB meeting.
First, the manner in which divorce takes place among Muslims. Muslim men pronounce the word 'talaaq', meaning divorce, three times in a row to divorce their wives. This is seen as victimisation of Muslim women.
While some approve the method, others call it anti-Islamic.
The AIMPLB is in the process of preparing a model nikahnama, or marriage contract, to make the process of divorce more stringent.
Secondly, the AIMPLB was to debate if Muslims should adopt family planning methods.
There is a clear-cut division within the AIMPLB on this issue as well.
It is worth mentioning here that the AIMPLB is an umbrella organisation including representatives from major Islamic schools of thoughts, religious and voluntary groups, scholars, journalists and some leading Muslim politicians.
The IUML, which has its presence only in Kerala, is an important constituent of the AIMPLB.