NEW DELHI: The Islamic Education Board of India (IEBI) is replicating the syllabus taught in Kerala in its affiliated madrasas across the country, claiming that the pedagogy adopted by them in the state has kept students away from being indoctrinated by terror groups.
The curriculum comes from a state feared of being the most radicalised in the country. The deportation of four Kerala youths from the UAE in September last year on the suspicion of being ISIS sympathisisers or the killing of four Malayalis by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir where they were undergoing training by the LeT are just a couple of examples of the rising influence of radical elements among the Muslim youth in the state.
IEBI, with close to 2,000 madrasas in Kerala, credits its success to the “extraordinary curriculum” of Islamic sciences with subject-wise arrangement such as faith, Islamic jurisprudence, good manners and Islamic history.
To counter radicalisation of youths, the Islamic Education Board of India (IEBI) is emulating its “extraordinary curriculum” in 1,000 other madrasas in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and West Bengal.
“The education imparted by us is aimed at moulding students into good human beings, teaching them the basis essence of Islam, about love, about compassion, the history of Islam and about brotherhood,” said Zafar Noorani Dahlvi, administrator of the board. By 2025, IEBI intends to affiliate another 5,000 madrasas following their curriculum.
“It is wrong to say that madrasas in the state are used for indoctrination. Kerala madrasas are secular and are institutions that teach orthodox religious values about religious customs,” said Yasar Arafath, spokesperson of Karanthur Markaz, an Islamic cultural and religious conglomerate which runs over 9,000 madrasas in Kerala.
However, a chapter in the curriculum states that “everything in this universe is created by Allah... Good and bad deeds occur in accordance with the will of the Almighty Allah... Allah likes good deeds and He gives them heaven as a reward. Allah dislikes bad deeds and those who do it will be punished with hell fire”.
Activist Hameed Chennamangaloor said, “All madrasas, irrespective of their religious moorings, teach that there is only one true religion in the world, Islam. It creates an impression that all other religions are wrong. This is what the Taliban and the Islamic State has been propagating. Children, who are indoctrinated with such teachings, easily get attracted to extremist groups.”
In the next five years, the board intends to have a modern syllabus and education systems in all madrasas, which will include Mathemathics and Science.