Home News Reports Madrassas are a threat to liberty: Tufail Ahmad at India Ideas Conclave 2015

Madrassas are a threat to liberty: Tufail Ahmad at India Ideas Conclave 2015

On the third and last day of India Ideas Conclave 2015, Tufail Ahmad not only raised many thoughtful questions but also gathered a huge applause from the crowd. Tufail was one of the speakers for the topic ‘Semitic Ideas –Orthodoxy, Modernity & Reform’

After briefly talking about his educational journey from a Madrassa student of Champaran, Bihar to a journalist who now addresses distinguished crowds in many nations, Tufail advanced to the core of the topic by floating following two serious questions:

  1. Is peaceful Islam compatible with the 21st century’s ideas of liberty?
  2. Since the Koran and the Hadiths are not going to change, is there a way to introduce change among Indian Muslims? He further added that by 2050, India will have the world’s largest Muslim population, about 311 million. Therefore, the modern democratic Indian state must undertake some concrete steps now.

Tufail drove the discussion forward through his second question first and emphasized the weakness of the Right to Education Act, which is often superseded by all other rights. His principal concern around the education of Muslims in India was primary education through madrassas, for the reason that madrassas are not exposed to science and other material sciences which students from mainstream schools study.

- Ad - - article resumes -

Tufail Ahmad

Tufail argued that the phase between the age group of 6-14 years is a very crucial phase of life, and if during that phase students are asked to study religion instead of mathematics and science, they can’t be empowered. He further added that if people in India are not allowed to vote before the age of 18, are not allowed to have sex before the age of 18, why should they be allowed to study religion – a subject which required more maturity than what a 6-14 year-old group is supposed to have?

Tufail expressed his dismay against those secular Hindus who tell the Muslims that they will provide them secularism and 5% quota. He requested such secular Hindus to promise him that Muslim kids will be taught mathematics and science. His question to Muslim parents was:  If you can teach the Koran from LKG [lower kindergarten, two years below Grade 1], why cannot you teach mathematics from Grade 1?

To answer his first question, Tufail suggested that until there is a proper education, reformation can’t find a space. He said that the argument for compatibility must stay within the ambit of the Right to Education Act. To support his point, he stated that the Arab Spring failed because there was no infrastructure of liberal democratic ideas in Muslim societies. The Islamic State, or ISIS, gains support globally because conducive ideas already exist in our societies.

His suggestion to the government was: The Indian government must introduce three textbooks from Grade 1 through 12: One on Indian classics such as Upanishads, Mahabharata, Gita and classical Indian thinkers; a second primer on the Constitution’s ideals; and a third primer containing good points from all religions.

While expressing his concerns regarding Islamic Reformation, Tufail asked:

Is it possible that an entire generation of Muslim youths can abandon ideas inherited from their parents and Islamic clerics? Fortunately, history gives us hopeful lessons: In Italy and Germany, a generation of youths abandoned their parents’ beliefs in Nazism and Fascism. In India itself, Hindu youths abandoned castes and Sati. Christianity and Judaism went through their internal conflicts; the Bible and the Torah are removed from public life. In India itself, the Manusmriti has been abandoned. Since Islam is the youngest of the Middle Eastern religions, there is hope. The role of the Koran must be limited to mosques. We must study peaceful Islam, and the cause of Islamic Reformation in India must begin in the age group of 6-14 years.

During the question-answer session, when someone asked about the role moderate Muslim, Tufail took a jibe and said, “A Moderate Muslim is one who is sleeping all the time. A Moderate Muslim wakes up just in time, to criticize both the Liberal Muslim and the Extremist Muslim when a Liberal Muslim takes up a fight with an Extremist Muslim”

Note: The speech can also be read at: http://www.memri.org

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

Sanjay Leela Bhansali set to produce an hour-long movie based on the life of PM Modi and is titled Mann Bairagi.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

To Advertise on Opindia.com Click here

‘Professional Congress’ member posts promotional tweets for 500 rupees, blames ‘social media manager’ after having defended tweet

Flipkart Big Billion Sale is here and well, 'Congress supporters' would like to earn a few quick bucks.

Muslim student in Pakistan confesses he cooked up blasphemy charges against Hindu principal which led to violence on Hindus

Muslim mob unleashed violence against Hindu's in Ghotki, Pakistan, following the Muslim students false complaint against his Hindu principal

While talking about Muslims in Jammu, Karan Thapar diminishes massacre of Hindus and Sikhs in Jammu and the KP exodus

Karan Thapar in his article "We cannot be selective about the past in Jammu & Kashmir" in Hindustan Times dated 15th Sept 2019, gives a call to morality, intellectual honesty and being conscious to multiple peoples and their identities.

Congress’ AIPC member blames Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an incident of violence in Pakistan

All India Professionals' Congress member Andria D'Souza wants to hold PM Modi accountable for an incident in Pakistan

Tulsi Gabbard punctures fake news spread by ‘journalist’ Rana Ayyub and others about Howdy Modi event

The US Presidential candidate for 2020, Tulsi Gabbard, today took to Twitter to call out the lies being spread by a shady organisation 'Organisation for minorities in India (OFMI)'

Did you see the Vikram Lander? Brad Pitt asks about lunar module to American astronaut on the ISS

Brad Pitt was in a conversation with NASA astronaut on the ISS as a part of promotion for his upcoming film Ad Astra
S Jaishankar says PoK will be physically under India’s jurisdiction one day

PoK is part of India and one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

EAM S Jaishankar stated that Pakistan occupied Kashmir will one day be under India’s jurisdiction

Sardar Sarovar Dam: The significance of Prime Minister Modi celebrating his birthday at Kevadia

Congress kept Gujarat thirsty for decades by stalling progress of Sardar Sarovar Dam. Congress and anti-Narmada project activist Medha Patkar, who for years tried to halt the project which benefited crores of farmers under her 'Narmada Bachao Andolan'

After Priyanka Chaturvedi, Shiv Sena looking to induct ex-Congress leader Urmila Matondkar into party?

A close aide of Uddhav Thackeray, Milind Narvekar has been in touch with ex-Congress leader Urmila Matondkar perhaps in talks to join Shiv Sena after she quit Congress only last week.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
[newsletter_form type="minimal"]
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

182,794FansLike
180,527FollowersFollow
97,500SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post