Women Watching Football Un-Islamic, Says Darul Cleric

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A senior cleric at Darul Uloom in the northern town of Deoband has issued a religious decree that it is unlawful for women to watch men play football as they wear shorts! Mufti Athar Kasmi is of the view that Islam forbids women to see men “playing with bare knees”. Darul Uloom is Asia’s largest Sunni Muslim seminary situated in Uttar Pradesh.

Why do women need to watch these football matches? What they will gain by looking at footballer’s thighs?

Not just this, the cleric also blasted men who allowed their wives to watch football on television. “Do you have no shame? Do you not fear God? You let her watch these kinds of things,” he said in a recent sermon, reported ABC News.

Recently, the Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia has given women the permission to watch football in stadiums. Kasmi reacted on this decree and said, “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.”

Darul Uloom is an over 150 years old entity which teaches Sunni Hanafi jurisprudence. It is one of the hardest interpretations of Islam and is also the belief system of groups like Taliban in Afghanistan.

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However, a Muslim woman activist also came forward on the cleric’s statement. “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 same seminary had earlier released a fatwa against Muslim women going to beauty parlours and salons or women who wear tight clothes.

Such kind of mentality is key to the regressive attitudes of people. Women today are breaking the glass ceiling in so many sectors be it corporate, finance, parliament etc. But why does it get so difficult for them to fight such religious fanatics?

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