Girls should avoid wearing short clothes to avoid rapes: Indian Muslim cleric

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KOLKATA: Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid in Kolkata, Syed Mohammad Nurur R Barkati, has said girls should avoid wearing short clothes to protect themselves from getting raped or murdered.

“Girls these days wear short dresses and revealing shirts. We are not stopping them from wearing dresses but, they should avoid wearing short clothes to save themselves from the lust of men,” Barkati told ANI.

In January he said that regardless of whether a woman is Hindu or Muslim, all Indian women should wear a veil as it part of ‘Hindustani culture.’

Barkati’s remark comes days after Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi blamed the way women ‘dressed’ for the Bengaluru mass molestation on New Year’s Eve. “You have to keep petrol away from fire. And if there is sugar, ants will come automatically to it. In today’s world, the more a woman is nude, the more she is considered modern and educated,” the politician was quoted as saying.

“Such things are on a rise in the country. Western culture is a black spot on country’s culture and it should be stopped at the earliest. And we need to focus on our famous Indian culture,” Azmi added. The Samajwadi Party politician came under scathing criticism from Bollywood celebrities over his comments.

Women’s choice of clothing has long been a topic of discussion with some clerics going as far as claiming it causes earthquakes. In another such bizarre assertion in June last year, a senior Iranian cleric accused women’s liberal choice of clothing and ‘immorality’ as the cause for one of the country’s rivers drying up.

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