The Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) on Tuesday issued a notice to the Registrar of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) seeking to know the reason behind the reported introduction of a new course on ‘Islamic terrorism’. The commission has also sought details about the areas to be covered under this subject.
Taking suo moto cognisance of the media reports, the DMC chairman Zafarul Islam Khan has asked the varsity authority to explain the circumstances based on which the university decided to initiate the course on “Islamic terror”.
Controversy broke out when a PTI report claimed that in a meeting held on May 18, the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) Academic Council had passed a proposal to set up a Centre for National Security Studies (CNSS) under which there would be a subject on “Islamic terrorism”.
“Has the current administration of the JNU considered the implications of introducing this subject in the campus on its students and on the broader society outside?” the DMC questioned JNU officials, reports PTI. The DMC also asked the varsity to provide details of the council’s meeting and the details of members who attended it. The Commission asked the Registrar to file the details by June 5.
“Please provide a full list of the members of the Academic Council, marking those who were present during the meeting where the above proposal was adopted. Since there is a report that ‘many members’ of the council objected to the introduction of this subject, was there any voting and if so what was the result, and please provide a copy of the minutes of the said meeting where the subject was discussed and approved,” the notice said, reports Indian Express.
The said course has been opposed by a section of students and as well as teachers. “In a deeply problematic and shocking move, the JNU V-C also allowed the tabling of a course/topic on ‘Islamic terrorism’ under the Centre for National Security Studies,” JNU Students Union president Geeta Kumari told PTI.
However, a report by Firstpost.com cited AISF president Syed Valiullah Khadr as syaing that there was no proposal of a course on ‘Islamic Terrorism’ at the said meeting. “There was no proposal on an ‘Islamist terrorism’ course during the meeting; there was just a discussion about having the concept of ‘Islamist terrorism’ in CNSS, and there is a big difference between a course and a concept. The idea was also opposed by some members and has been put on hold,” Sudhir K Sudhar, a member of the JNU Teachers’ Association told Firstpost.
“There is no plan to introduce a course on Islamist terrorism under the CNSS. I don’t know why PTI published this news; I have always denied the news; it’s completely fake, ” professor Ajay Dubey, who heads the committee in charge of setting up the CNSS, told Firstpost.
Meanwhile, Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has also condemned the varsity’s decision. In a letter to the JNU Vice-Chancellor, Madani asked him to reconsider the proposal. “Labelling any religion with such epithet as terrorism is the ultimate insult and as such it is most abominable and condemnable,” Madani told The Hindu.