08/07/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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Madrassa introduces an "anti-Islamic terrorism" course to counter the Islamic State group

The Razviya Manazar Jamia-e-Islam madrassa, in Uttar Pradesh, has a new course to counter extremist propaganda. Students will compare the original excerpts from the Qur‘an and the Hadith to the distorted versions published by terrorist groups. “We want our students to be prepared to counter the propaganda of these organisations,” one teacher said.

Bareilly (AsiaNews/Agency) – The Jamia Razviya Manazar-E-Islam madrassa, a Qur‘anic school in Uttar Pradesh, has recently introduced a course titled ‘Islam and terrorism’. Its goal is to show how organisations like Islamic state (IS) group, al-Qaida and Taliban distort Islam's Holy Scriptures to spread terrorism and influence youth.

Initially, the course will be open only to Fazil, i.e. graduate students. Clerics will guide them to see how original excerpts from the Qur‘an and Hadith* have been mangled by terrorist groups.

The madrassa wants to focus on terrorism in the upcoming school year. “Many terrorists groups, including IS, al-Qaida and Taliban have published misleading extracts from Hadith,” said Mufti Mohammed Noori Saleem, a teacher and director of this specialised course.

“Through this,” he explained, “they try to lure youngsters to join their groups. The original texts of religious books are in Arabic. These groups fool young people by misquoting religious texts while offering a translation.”

For this reason, in this “course, we will compare original extracts with the ones published by terrorist organisations to make students aware of the true message of Islam, and demonstrate how it is being corrupted," he added.

Eight students are currently enrolled in the Fazil (graduate level) course that began on Wednesday, but the madrassa is open to taking in more students.

Clerics have also decided to offer regular workshops on 'Islam and terrorism' for students not enrolled in this course, to raise awareness of this important issue. 

Set up in 1904, the school was founded by Aala Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, founder of the Barelvi movement. At present, 1,200 students are enrolled.

“The responsibility of madrassa students has increased in today's time. They have to face many challenges, including being strong enough to resist the lure of terrorist organisations. We want our students to be prepared to counter the propaganda of these organisations,” said Mufti Ahsan Raza Qadri, who heads the madrassa.

* The Hadith are the collections of the reports purporting to quote what the Prophet Muhammad said on any matter.

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