Islam for Pluralism- More Hindus than Muslims in West Bengal Madrassas!

More Hindus than Muslims in Some West Bengal Madrassas!
By Sreya Basu, Kolkata
Jan 20, 2009

Contrary to popular belief that madrassas are schools for fundamentalist Islamic teaching, madrassas in West Bengal are attracting an increasing number of Hindu students with their shift in focus from Islamist education to science and technology. Hindu students now outnumber Muslims in four madrassas of the state. These include Kasba MM High Madrassa in Uttar Dinajpur district, Ekmukha Safiabad High Madrassa in Cooch Behar district, Orgram Chatuspalli High Madrassa at Burdwan district and Chandrakona Islamia High Madrassa at West Midnapore district.

“The percentage of Hindu students vary from 57 percent to 64 percent in these institutes, which stand out as proof that madrassas (Islamic seminaries) and secularism are not anachronistic, ” West Bengal Board of Madrassah Education president Sohrab Hussain told IANS.

He said 618 out of the 1,077 students in Kasba, 554 out of 868 students at Orgram, 201 out of 312 at Chandrakona and 290 out of total 480 students at Ekmukha are Hindus.

Denying that madrassas impart only Islamist education, he said the institutes lay more stress on modern subjects.

“It’s a misconception that our students only learn Islam-related subjects at madrassas. Time is changing and so are we. Now, we lay more stress on science and technology than religion.

“Already 42 madrassas have computer laboratories; we will increase the number by another 100 labs in 2009. Over 100 madrassas offer vocational training in not only tailoring but even mobile applications technology,” Hussain said.

He said an increasing number of Hindu students were choosing madrassas over other schools because they had more credibility.

“Madrassas have been successful in winning the confidence of students and guardians. Mostly first generation learners from backward classes come to study here as they know they won’t be looked down upon. Besides, madrassa certificates are at par with other national-level examinations, ” said Hussain.

There are 506 madrassas in West Bengal and 52 more will come up by the end of 2009. Overall, 17 percent of the students and 11 percent of the teachers in these institutions are non-Muslims.

“All students are treated equally… there is no religious bias in the madrassas. Even the syllabus of the madrassas are no different from the Madhyamik – the state secondary examinations.

“The only difference is our students have to sit for a 100-mark extra paper on Arabic and Islamic studies, which in a way is good for Hindu students too. They can learn a new language at the same time,” Hussain said.

Golum Mustafa, headmaster of Kasba madrassa, said all students study and play together irrespective of their religion.

“If anyone asks me why Hindu students study at madrassas, I ask them, ‘Why not?’ Be it school or madrassa – they are meant for imparting education. There are many Hindu students who passed out from Kasba and are well-established in life,” Mustafa said on phone.

Bibhas Chandra Ghorui, a Hindu assistant teacher at Chandrakona, echoed Mustafa.

“There are seven schools within one km of this madrassa. But still people send their wards here, mostly because of affordability. One has to pay Rs.375 at general schools while the fees at the madrassa is only Rs.110.

“As for religious tolerance, if a Muslim student can study Baishnav Padavali – a Hindu religious hymns – then why can’t a Hindu student study Islam or Arabic?” Ghorui said on phone.

Hasni Essa
Islam for Pluralism
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Source: Posted by: Hasan Essa, hasniessa@yahoo.com on Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:10 am (PST) at pakistanfront@yahoogroups.com

2 thoughts on “Islam for Pluralism- More Hindus than Muslims in West Bengal Madrassas!”

  1. Britain has a broken society. This is a dark portrait but it is very true. Children are left to rot and they grew into animals. Binge drinking, drug addiction, a culture of disrespect and antisocial behavior, teenage pregnancies and abortions, knife and gun culture are part and parcel of every day life in all big city centers. The teenage pregnancies and the sheer madness of sex education teach nothing about morality. British society is suffering from unprecedented social decay and societal breakdown, according to the Children’s Society shocking evidence. Britain has more broken families than other countries. British children are rougher with each other, and live more riskily in terms of alcohol, drugs and teenage pregnancies. Britain’s rate of teenage pregnancy is the highest in Western Europe. According to official figures, nearly half of all babies are now born out of wedlock. They are more likely to suffer social, mental and emotional problems. Research has revealed that migrants in Britain are more likely to have children within marriage. The teaching of sex education could not curb teenage pregnancies. Infact, it has simply increased. This is a clear indication of broken society. It is an eye opening for the Muslim community who sends their children to state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers.

    In broken Britain, the break downs of family are ripping apart communities. According to a report, Scottish schools like English schools have become home for rapes, gun and knife culture, drug dealing, gang culture and racism. It is a horrendous portrayal of the collapse of civilized life and of human despair. Carrying weapons is becoming the norms, violence is “routine” and families are terrorized by gangs. Every parent is worried about his child being indoctrinated into the idea that gay and sexual promiscuity is “normal” modes of behavior. Homosexuality was regarded as mental illness but now blue eyed western educated elites are its defenders and promoters. The spectre of hidden epidemic of sex crimes inside Britain’s classrooms has emerged after Scotland Yard revealed there have been nearly 900 rapes or sex attacks in schools. The vast majority of victims were school children under the age of 16. As many as one in three were under 11. According to official figures, hundreds of children under the age of 12 were treated for addiction to drink and drugs.

    Children are being taught that sexually transmitted diseases could be easily treated and there is no acknowledgement of the emotional harm of premature sexual activity. The truth is that more sex education and contraception are provided to children and teenagers, the more they fall pregnant. Studies have shown that access to contraception and sex education, sexual activity and conception and pregnancy rates go up. The sexual health of young Londoners is a “major public health issue” and still among the worst in the country, despite innovative projects and improvements in services.

    The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a
    safe environment with an Islamic ethos. Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won’t feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith. The significance and value of Muslim schools is that the Islamic religion imposed obligations of good citizenship, keeping the peace and paying taxes. While ambition of state school is to get children humping each other before they are out of primary school and giving them parenting classes when they are fourteen to help the girls cope with the babies they will have conceived at thirteen.
    Iftikhar Ahmad
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

    .

  2. I have included the link to this article in a homework assignment for my college freshman geography students. Thanks for sharing on moderate Islam. We are tired of all the negative news.

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