KOZHIKODE: The Sunni faction led by Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musaliar has restored the portion in the madrassa textbook that asserted that Sunnis should not greet Mujahids (Salafis) and members of the Jamaa-at-Islami with the customary ‘salaam.’ It is a usual practice among the Muslims to say ‘Assalamu Alaikkum’ when they meet each other. The undivided Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulema had decided in 1930s that the Sunnis should not say ‘salaam’ to the ‘innovators’ in the religion.
The call was to boycott them in every aspect of life including marriages and social gatherings. (‘Innovators’ or ‘reformists’ is a derogatory term used in Islam to denote those who bring in practices that are alien to the religion. Sunnis consider Salafis and Jamaa’at-e-Islami as those who smuggled in such beliefs.)As a result of the decision, the textbooks of the Sunni madrassas specifically contained references to Mujahids and Jama’at as groups that should be avoided for saying ‘salaam.’
But the specific reference was removed from the textbooks of the EK faction when the Sunnis split into two in 1989. Kanthapuram group had alleged that the EK faction avoided mentioning Mujahids and Jama’at specifically and used the general term ‘innovators’ because many of the leaders of the IUML were Mujahids.
It was cited as the example of the political subservience of the EK faction to the IUML. The rank and file of the Kanthapuram faction were embarrassed when the same thing happened in their textbooks too. Reference to Mujahids and Jama’at was dropped from the textbook for the third standard of the madrassas run by the Kanthapuram faction when the syllabus was revised. It was replaced by the general term ‘innovators’ as happened in the textbooks of the EK faction.
After an urgent meeting on Friday, the mushwara (consultative body) issued a statement saying that there has been no change in their approach to the ‘innovators’ and ‘reformers.’ The meeting chaired by E Sulaiman Musaliar, president, Kanthapuram faction of the Samastha, said that the portion that has been there in the textbook will be restored because the decision had created some confusion.
Samastha mushawara member Wandoor Abdurehman Faizi told TNIE that textbooks for the madrassas were revised recently. “Direct references to Mujahids and Jamaa’at-e-Islami were removed from the text and were given in the activity part of the book,” he said. The teachers can explain who the ‘innovators’ are when they conduct the classes. “It is part of the new system to give more thrust to activity part. Moreover, we thought that it would be more appropriate to teach such things from sixth standard onwards,” Faizi said.