'Jihadi terrorism only form of religious terrorism'

New JNU course says 'Jihadi terrorism' only form of fundamentalist-religious terrorism

The course was cleared by the Academic Council of JNU during a meeting on August 17

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

For students choosing the optional course, titled ‘Counter Terrorism, Asymmetric Conflicts and Strategies for Cooperation among Major Powers’ at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), some of the contents may seem controversial. Some of its assertions made in the new course include "Jihadi terrorism” is the only form of “fundamentalist-religious terrorism”, and Communist regimes in the erstwhile Soviet Union and China were the “predominant state-sponsors of terrorism” that influenced “radical Islamic states”, according to a report by The Indian Express.

The course was cleared by the Academic Council of JNU during a meeting on August 17. The Council is the university’s highest decision-making body for academic programmes. But JNU Teacher’s Association has alleged that no discussion was allowed in that particular meeting.

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One of the new course’s modules, titled ‘Fundamentalist-religious Terrorism and its Impact’, states: “Fundamentalist – religious inspired terrorism has played a very critical and dominant role in the spawning of terrorist violence in the beginning of the 21st century. The perverse interpretation of the Koran has resulted in the rapid proliferation of a jihadi cultist violence that glorifies death by terror in suicidal and homicidal variants. The exploitation of the cyberspace by the radical Islamic religious clerics has resulted in the electronic propagation of jihadi terrorism world over. Online electronic dissemination of Jihadi terrorism has resulted in the spurt of violence in non-Islamic societies that are secular and are now increasingly vulnerable to the violence that (is) on the increase.”

Another module, titled ‘State-sponsored Terrorism: Its Influence and Impact’, states: “Terrorism has always a geographical base and support havens for its operations. State sponsored terrorism has been largely during the ideological war between the West and the Soviet Union and China. The Soviet Union and China have been predominant state-sponsors of terrorism and they have been heavily involved in terms of their intelligence agencies training, aiding and providing logistical support to Communist ultras and terrorists.”

The course will be offered to students pursuing an MS with specialisation in International Relations after a BTech in Engineering, and the online classes for the monsoon semester will start on September 20.

Arvind Kumar, Chairperson of the Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies, has confirmed to The Indian Express that he had designed the course. “Because Islamic terrorism is a world-accepted thing. After the Taliban, it has gained momentum now,” he said when asked about the reference to only one religion in the module on “fundamentalist-religious terrorism”.

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