An Uttar Pradesh-based madrassa (Islamic learning centre) has started an 'anti-terrorism' course in its curriculum designed for students wanting to become 'muftis'.
For the past one year, about 30 students enrolled at the Sunniyat Jamia Razvia Manzar-e-Islam, a seminary run under Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat in Bareily, Uttar Pradesh, have been taking the classes.
Teachers say the move is to tell students what terrorists and extremists are doing in the name of Islam is sin.
"We were extremely concerned by the growing number of terror attacks across the world in the name of Islam. The terrorists didn't even spare mosques and shrines and incorrectly quoted Quran, Hadith and other Islamic literature which committing heinous acts. We decided that there is an urgent need to save our youth from getting influenced by such un-Islamic interpretations," Mufti Saleem Noori, head convener and spokesperson of Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat told ScoopWhoop News.
Below is the entire syllabus that the madrassa authorities shared with ScoopWhoop News. The course is titled 'Anti-terrorism course: For specialisation in Islam and Terrorism'.
As one can see, the two-year course is divided into two parts: one on moderate Sufism and another on hardline Wahabism.
Noori said the threat of radicalisation arises out of incorrect interpretations of Islamic religious texts that are originally written in Arabic.
"The terrorists come up with their own incorrect interpretations and justify their dastardly acts. They mislead people by saying Islam authorises killing of non-Muslims, which is highly deplorable. It is thus extremely important for scholars to tell the world that Islam is a religion of peace and brotherhood," he said.
Keeping in mind the rising use of social media to attract youths for terrorist activities, the course also has a module on how to counter extremism on such platforms.
"We have already issued a fatwa against circulating objectionable content on the internet. Such posts have no authenticity and we encourage youths to consult learned scholars of Islam if they have any doubt rather than believing what is posted on social media," he said.
Noori's move is also aimed at countering the popular opinion that madrasas are "nurseries of terrorism".
"Across the world, terror activities are carried out by people who are highly trained. The madrasa students who come from poor backgrounds can't even manage three square meals. How can they take organise such attacks which require a lot of money and expertise"? he reasoned.