Apex Muslim body silent on women contesting polls

 By Jehan Haniff

Female Muslim politicians are in a quandary as regards the forthcoming local government elections as the apex body of Muslim organisations had not yet made known its position on Muslim women contesting polls.

The government had decided to allow 25 per cent of the seats to females and the All Ceylon Jemmiyathul Ulama’s (ACJU) silence on the issue was puzzling, said a Muslim politician. He added that as a result Muslim women were at a distinct disadvantage.

A senior spokesperson for the Islamic Solidarity Front (ISF), admitted that aspiring Muslim women politicians were at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts.

"The ACJU has not made an announcement on important matters such as this," he emphasised.

Last year, Muslim women in Saudi Arabia had taken part in municipal elections for the first time, the Chairman said, adding that there were a higher percentage of Muslim women serving in the Saudi Shura Council than in the US Congress."

Our attempts to contact the spokesman for the ACJU to obtain his views were in vain.

In December 2015, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assured in Parliament that twenty five per cent of all the elected representatives of the local government institutions would be women.

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