The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration seems to have dropped the idea of offering a course on ‘Islamic terrorism’ following protests from left-leaning student associations and teachers, The New Indian Express has reported.
According to Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan, who is quoted in the daily’s report, the university has replied to a notice issued by the body saying it has no plans to start a course on Islamic terrorism.
“JNU recently replied to our notice saying there was no proposal to start a course on ‘Islamic terrorism’ but their documents submitted to us mention it as part of the curriculum of the proposed Centre for Security Studies,” Khan said.
“The Commission has suggested that JNU 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,” he added.
In May, the academic council of the university had approved the setting up of the Centre for National Security Studies, which was to offer courses on ‘Islamic Terrorism’ and other related subjects. The left-leaning JUN Students’ Union and teachers had called the move “an attempt at Islamophobic propaganda.”
“No member, including the deans and chairs reinstated by the Delhi high court, were allowed to speak at all. It is alarming that the highest academic body of the university, in which ‘due deliberation’ must be accorded to all academic matters, was conducted by means of open suppression of dissent,” the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association, which is led by a panel of left-leaning teachers, had said about the meeting during which the course was approved.
“Many members opposed the topic ‘Islamic Terrorism’ so as to not club any religion with terrorism, and suggested to call the phenomenon ‘religious terrorism’,” an office-bearer of the JNUTA was quoted by PTI as saying.
However, a member of the Academic Council member, who was present in the meeting, had said that there was a debate on the issue and many members of the academic council supported the decision to start the course.
“There was a debate on the issue in the meeting with many members supporting it too, saying that it was a globally accepted phenomenon and majority of the cases (of terrorism) were associated with the religion,” the member had said.
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