In May 2018, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi had given an in-principle approval to set up a Centre for National Security Studies in the campus. Students and faculty members were part of the meeting on May 18 when approval for the creation of Centre was given by the JNU administration. Islamic Terrorism was one of the important courses which were going to be taught at the proposed Centre which was waiting for the University’s approval. Professor Ashwini Mohapatra, chairperson of the Centre for West Asian Studies, had defended the move to call the course “Islamic Terrorism” back then by saying, “Usage of ‘Islamist Terrorism’ is globally accepted and I have given this as my suggestion to the vice-chancellor. Islamist involves extremism and radicalisation across the globe.” Ideally, there should have been no issues with starting a course such as the aforementioned one, considering the extent and impact which it had in India and the whole of the world in general, but in the Left dominated JNU campus this is not how things work. The University has recently dropped the proposed course following objections made by minority bodies and University professors and students.
The proposed course on Islamic Terrorism was supposed to give a deep insight into the causes for radicalisation and extremism in the world with special focus on India. The detailed scrutiny of the cause and effects for the same would have led to solutions, both military and non-military in nature for the country. The course could have also helped the government of India and the security forces in dealing with possible threats in the future. The use of the term ‘Islamic’ did not go down well with the minority bodies and the protestors from inside the University. The protesting bodies want the government to drop the word ‘Islamic’ from the proposed course and make it much wider in approach.
It might have been a good sign if they would have wanted the inclusion of word Naxal or Maoist in the proposed course, but this is JNU. No such thing can take place in the hallowed bastion of Leftist and Naxal sympathisers, as 30 academicians have submitted a written complaint at University Registrar against the course. Their contention is that they want the course to encompass all the religions of the world and how they are being misused to spread terror. This is the pinnacle of apologist behaviour which is going on unhindered in New Delhi for far too long. Islamic Terrorism is as real as it gets, from Kerala youth joining Islamic State to Islamic State influenced terrorists operating in Kashmir, the threat is present through the entire length and breadth of India. It is as real as it gets, and shying away from it won’t help anyone today or in the days to come.
Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan said, “The JNU authorities recently replied to our notice saying that there was no proposal to start a course on ‘Islamic terrorism’. But their documents submitted to us does mention it as part of the curriculum of the proposed Centre for National Security Studies,” he went on to add, “The Commission has suggested that JNU should instead run a course on how different religions are being misused by a bunch of people, but this proposed course should talk about various religions and not remain confined to one or two. In this course, they can talk about terrorism etc.,”
It sounds like he believes that the course is anti-Muslim in nature, which is not true, where it is in fact a study of the gullible and peace loving people that are mislead into picking up weapons under the delusion of saving their religion. JNU should rethink this decision which is going to be in against the interests of the Islamic community in the long run.