Saif Ali Khan is one of the classiest and well-read men in Bollywood today. And he doesn’t shy away from expressing his opinions about controversial issues either.
In an interview to Indian Express, Saif recently opened up on what he thought about the raging issues of the day – from Sonu Nigam’s azaan row to Triple Talaq and Islamophobia.
Don’t know who you are offending. At one level I agree, the lesser sound the better, there should be certain decibel levels allowed across religious practices. I also understand the amplification of the sound during azaan comes from insecurity. Not just here but also in Israel apparently where three different religions co-exist.
It’s been written about so I believe it’s the same. As a minority, you would like to make your presence felt and hopefully accepted. If someone says that it should be extinguished, it will make some people little uncomfortable. As a precursor to some sort of holocaust, it’s the first thing you think of.
There’s a bit of fear there. It’s fine to express your views on the decibel levels. I think that tweet was a bit aggressive though, initially. And I do think religion should be a private affair and we should be a secular country. – Saif Ali Khan, Actor
Why should we see people as different? I know the argument, that the criminal law is the same but the civil law varies. But of course there should be one law for the land. Also on Triple Talaq. I have been married in the past, I have had a nikaah, but that’s also because my ex-wife mother is also a Muslim. And also because we ran away and got married. But when I got divorced, I just couldn’t think Triple Talaq was the way.
There are responsibilities, financial one has towards the wife and children. These aren’t just divorce arrangements, but so you sleep right. My arrangement expired when Sara turned 18 but I haven’t stopped taking care of her and Ibrahim, to be a father, emotionally and financially. It’s not a contract or a religious out. I don’t agree with it because I haven’t followed it, I could have.
Yes Muslims say it was started at a time to give women rights but things are different now. Indian constitution does try to address this with the Special Marriage Act. There is a way if people are willing to follow. Kareena (Kapoor) and I followed the Special Marriage Act. I think times have changed, and I have too. Although I had no interest back then either, to convert anyone. I think Taimur should have the freedom tomorrow to be a Buddhist if he wants, or an atheist.
It’s so scary. We have had phobias against religion. The Jews have been historically persecuted. And anti-semitism has been used by the Western civilization as a political, philosophical and economic tool, to treat someone else as ‘the other’. And after the holocaust, it’s scary when people say Islamophobia because it feels like you will be persecuted or discriminated against no matter how you are.
And I am not religious but as a kid, I was so proud to be a Muslim. One used to think of the Mughals, Turkey, calligraphy, art etc. And now it’s this, which is a far cry. But I’ll tell you, there is no such thing as the Muslim or the Jew. We create the construct of the Muslim and give it certain characteristics, that he does this or that. But we are individuals. Our views will be different, even on religion.
It’s scary when we are all are called ‘the Muslim’ because it implies we all have the same beliefs and characteristics that can be easily summed up.