Published: 23rd June 2018
JNU drops a course on 'Islamic terrorism', instead asked to include how different religions are being misused
In May, the JNU Academic Council had given in-principle approval to the course on Islamic terrorism to be taught at the proposed Centre for National Security Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University has dropped a proposed course on Islamic terrorism following objections raised by minority bodies as well as some university academicians and students.
“JNU authorities recently replied to our notice saying there was no proposal to start a course on ‘Islamic terrorism’ but their documents submitted to us does mention it as part of the curriculum of the proposed Centre for National Security Studies,” Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan told the Sunday Standard.
“The Commission has suggested that JNU should instead run a course on how different religions are being misused by a bunch of people, but this proposed course should talk about various religions and not remain confined to one or two religions. In this course, they can talk about terrorism etc,” Khan said.
While the proposed centre was a good initiative, Khan felt that ‘Islamic terrorism’ as a subject of research and teaching was ‘flawed’ and would ‘deteriorate’ the communal atmosphere in the campus and beyond “and create wrong notions about Muslims.”
In May, the JNU Academic Council had given in-principle approval to the course on Islamic terrorism to be taught at the proposed Centre for National Security Studies. The minority panel then issued a notice to the varsity asking if it had considered the implications of introducing this subject.
The Academic Council also faced sharp criticism from some sections of the teaching community as well as students, who described it as an attempt to ‘propagate Islamophobia’. More than 30 academicians present at the academic council meeting reportedly submitted a complaint at University Registrar alleging they were not allowed to air their views about the proposed course.
The Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA), considered to be a supporter of the NDA government, also opposed the name of the course and wrote a letter to Union human resource development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar. The FMSA had supported the government’s ban on cow slaughter and has even favoured declaring the cow India’s national animal.
“FMSA feels that the ministry of HRD should intervene and convince the JNU administration to desist from naming the proposed course as “Islamic Terrorism” though it can go on with introducing curriculum on natural security in the newly established Centre for National Security Studies,” the letter read.