In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UP Shia Waqf Board Chairman Waseem Rizvi has requested him to shut down primary madrasas while alleging that terror outfit ISIS was funding such institutions to keep Muslim children away from mainstream education and other religions.
He further claimed that in rural areas especially, primary madrasas were playing with the future of children due to greed for donations and turning them into “hardliners”.
“Agar jald prathamik madrase band na hue to 15 saal baad desh ka aadhe se jyada Musalman ISIS ki vichardhara ka samarthak ho jayega…Unmein Islam ke naam par kattarpanthi soch paida ki ja rahi hai (If primary madrasas are not closed down soon, then in the next 15 years, more than half the Muslim population of the country will become supporters of ISIS ideology…In the name of Islam, they (students in primary madrasas) are being turned into radicals),” the letter read.
Rizvi also alleged that in Kashmir, people are “publicly” supporting ISIS and sending funds to madrasas, due to which Muslim children were being distanced not only from regular education but also other religions.
He added that the move would be in “desh hit” (welfare of the country), and if children wish to undertake religious studies, they can do so after passing Class X from regular schools.
“It would be beneficial as children would be able to get regular education from primary to high school level. They would also get the chance to attain education sitting alongside children of every section and religion,” Rizvi wrote.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Rizvi said, “I am not against Islamic education but against the growing trend of madrasas clashing with mainstream school timings and keeping Muslim children away from the knowledge of other religions. In India, there are not only Muslims but also people of other religions…if Muslim children take primary education in mainstream, they not only learn about other religions but the confusion among children of other religions about Islam would also be removed.”
In January last year, Rizvi had written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Modi seeking abolition of the concept of madrasas, claiming that they have become a business venture for mullahs (clerics) and generated terrorists instead of ensuring jobs for Muslims.