Mirwaiz Wants Islamic Studies In J-K Schools

29 April 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has demanded making Islamic studies (Islamiyat) part of the school curriculum in private and government-run educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir. It is the first time that Mirwaiz, who is also a religious head and leads Friday prayers at historic Jama (grand) mosque, has called for the introduction of Islamic studies in the school curriculum. Hurriyat insiders say that the demand has been raised by Mirwaiz to counter the moves of the 'Hindu right-wing forces' like RSS and other organisations. 'We cannot find solutions to the present-day social, cultural and economic concerns and problems and aim for an honest and ethics-based society without taking recourse to the teachings of Islam,' Mirwaiz said addressing a day-long seminar at Nusrat-ul-Islam Higher Secondary School, which is being run by a trust headed by Mirwaiz, in the Rajouri Kadal area of Srinagar. Mirwaiz Umar also head the Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema, a conglomerate of Muslim scholars, mosque Imams and religious scholars of Kashmir. 'Moral and religious education not only help in making us better human beings, but there is also no alternative for making a better value-based and just society without taking recourse to Islamic teachings,' Mirwaiz said. The demand to incorporate Islamic studies in the school curriculum comes at a time when BJP-ruled Haryana has already decided to make the teaching of Gita compulsory in schools. Sources said that the Hurriyat Conference, in the coming days, may also 'sharpen' its demand for the introduction of Islamic studies in the school curriculum and take other 'measures' to 'protect the Muslim identity' of Jammu and Kashmir and counter the RSS moves.