Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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forward through his second question first and emphasized the weakness of the Right to Education Act, which is often superseded by all other rights.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.

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

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Rana Ayyub tells Harvard University students how to speak ‘truth to power’, after spreading fake news over Ghaziabad fake hate crime

Rana Ayyub interacted with the students of Harvard University over challenges facing journalism and 'speaking truth to power'.

Mamata Banerjee, after promising monthly stipends for women, faces ‘financial shortage’ in keeping her poll promise

West Bengal government might have to cut down on fund allocation to other Departments to keep Lakshmi Bhandar scheme afloat.

Uttar Pradesh: Forced mass religious conversion accused Mohammad Umar Gautam was felicitated by AMU alumni for ‘spreading Islam’

Mohammad Umar Gautam and his associated at the Islamic Dawah Centre(IDC) preyed on vulnerable and poor people, those with listening and speaking disabilities, and converted them to Islam

The MVA report card: Maharashtra government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic

10-min read: As the Maha Vikas Aghadi struggles to keep itself afloat, here's a snapshot on the Maharashtra government's handling of the pandemic.

Congress Toolkit team now comes up with a ‘white paper’ on COVID management, here is how it is flawed

Congress has released a white paper cautioning on the third wave of COVID-19, which appears as an extension of the toolkit that was exposed last month

86 lakh vaccinations: Why BJP had the most perfect day yesterday

Rahul Gandhi has done the BJP a favour, as usual when it comes to criticising the recordbreaking number of COVID vaccination.

Recently Popular

How Venkatesh Prasad is winning hearts with his ‘Sanghi’ posts, one tweet at a time

Venkatesh Prasad demonstrated the Surya Namaskar for his followers, performed in deference to the Sun God.

Ravish Kumar appears massively frustrated as India administers 85 lakh COVID vaccines in single day, this is why he does not make sense

Ravish Kumar goes on a ranting spree to hate on PM Modi by camouflaging propaganda as 'criticism' over COVID-19 vaccination

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren fails to meet Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi despite 4-days wait: Details

The Dialy Pioneer has cited quoting sources that the JMM chief is not happy over Rahul and Sonia ignoring him and instead meeting TN CM Stalin.

Republic TV issues statement over Arnab Goswami’s disappearance from the news network: Here is what they said

Arnab Goswami was last seen on May 2 during a discussion on West Bengal assembly polls. He will make a return on Monday.

Fact Check: Is “Raam” with the photo of Lord Ram printed on it is the world’s most expensive currency

As Raam is not a legal tender issued by a sovereign state or a central bank, it is not a regular currency, it is actually a bearer bond
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,564FansLike
555,339FollowersFollow
24,400SubscribersSubscribe