NEW DELHI: The Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday proposed to launch a course on ‘Islamic terrorism’ despite opposition from many members of the academic council who said the move would further a communal agenda.
A Special Centre for National Security Studies was proposed to be set up during the 145th academic council meeting on Friday, which was attended by about 100 of the 110 members. Among the courses planned under the centre was one on ‘Islamic terrorism’.
The other courses it would offer include ones on insurgency, naxalism, demographic changes and national security, India’s maritime security, peacekeeping operations, cybersecurity, security institutions, non-traditional institutions and border management. JNU professors pointed out that while ‘international terrorism’ programmes are offered in institutes across the world, this is probably the first time terrorism has been directly linked to a religion in an academic programme.
“This is a brazen attempt to promulgate Islamophobia and should be protested vehemently. The term should be ‘religious extremism’ rather than ‘Islamic terrorism’,” said a senior professor who was at the meeting.
It was also proposed that the centre would be an academic and research institute with autonomy over the agenda of its research and course curricula. It is set to have only M Phil and PhD students during its first five years after which masters programmes may be started, the proposal said.