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News updated at 5:32 PM IST

Implement madarsa modernisation programme, Centre urged

December 7, 2015, Bengaluru, DHNS 1:29 IST
Tawazun Foundation, a think tank of liberal Muslims based in Bengaluru with offshoots across the globe, has called upon the Central government to implement the National Madarsa Modernisation Programme (NMMP) in consultation with the Muslim scholars.

The NMMP, according to the foundation, aims to improve the quality of education at the traditional Islamic schools.

Addressing reporters here on Sunday, Asif Iqbal, co-founder of Tawazun and Executive Director of Asian Arab Chamber of Commerce said that the foundation is formed to oppose any form of extremism in Islam. “We want to educate the masses on what Islam truly stands for as opposed to what is widely perceived globally. Muslims should not be afraid to criticise those who were putting forward extremist views in the name of faith. Besides, there is also a need to monitor the activity in madarasa (Islamic school), a ‘breeding ground’ which can matter the security of the country.

“The Islam scholars and the government should prepare a framework to implement madarsa modernisation programme, which witnessed opposition from the minority community in the past. There is a notion that the government would interfere in the propagation of faith. Why would the government do it, when it has never interfered in namaz, Quran or fasting? The poor Muslim goes to madrasa in search of food or knowledge. Hence, it should be a place to advocate the message of peace and radicalising will damage Islamism. So, the government should monitor the madrasas in the interest of nation,” Iqbal said.

Besides, the co-founder also approved the proposal to implement Uniform Civil Code in the country. “It is good for the nation, if not for the communities. Why go for minority grants or take Haj subsidy? Instead, priority should be given on education,” he said and added that foundation has experienced resistance from our own people, but we will continue to educate more and more people to promote de-radicalisation.

“We will aggressively talk for peace when someone comes with extremist remarks,” he said disapproving the statement by a cleric in Kerala, who reportedly said “Muslim women are only fit to deliver children.”

Besides, the foundation has come up with a mobile application ‘I am Donor’, which intends to connect blood donors and patients based on geo location to promote the very idea of ‘blood has no religion,’ he said.

Dalai Lama bats for peace, amity

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who was in the City to attend a conference ‘Peace for Economy,’ organised by Tawazun Foundation said the Indian Muslims should be the messengers of peace.

He urged the Central Government to host international inter-religious conference in India, which would provide a platform to discuss and solve the differences and the extremism. “The philosophy of every religion may be different, but every religion preaches love,” he said stressing the importance of moral education.

The conference, which witnessed discussion on different topics associated with peace and religion, were attended by Consul General of France Francois Gautier, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to India HE Sabit Subasic, former IAS officer Dr S Krishna Kumar, author Helene Tremblay and UN Goodwill Ambassador Fay Jahan Ara.

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