Governor draws flak for remark on madrasas

‘Criminals should not be defined by their faith and party’

Published - June 30, 2022 08:41 pm IST - MALAPPURAM

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s alleged statement that madrasas were spreading hatred has drawn sharp criticism from Muslim bodies in the State. Several Muslim bodies condemned Mr. Khan for allegedly saying that madrasas were propagating that those who speak against God should be killed.

The Kerala Muslim Jamat (KMJ) State secretariat said in a statement that Governor’s statement was sheer falsehood and unbecoming of a high post that he holds. “Madrasas are not spreading hatred. Rather they are teaching methods of peaceful coexistence. The terrorist philosophy of slaughtering critics should not be accounted for Islam,” said the KMJ.

Condemning the brutal killing of a man at Udaipur in Rajasthan for supporting former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, the KMJ challenged the Governor to show any lesson in madrasa textbooks that propagate violence.

It said madrasas were imparting lessons that help students attain discipline and grow up as socially responsible citizens. “Mr. Khan is spreading hatred by making such irresponsible statements,” the KMJ said.

The Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama described Governor’s statement as irresponsible and unfortunate. Samastha State president Syed Jiffri Muthukoya Thangal and general secretary K. Alikutty Musliar said that the statement was baseless and that it did not suit the Governor’s post. “Criminals should not be defined by their faith and party,” they said.

The Samastha leaders said that there were more than 10,000 madrasas functioning under the Samastha Kerala Islam Matha Vidyabhyasa Board. “None of them preaches violence or hatred. All of them are propagating love, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. The history of the madrasas in Kerala reveals that,” they said.

‘Withdraw statement’

Welfare Party of India State president Hameed Vaniyambalam accused the Governor of trying to spread hatred between religious communities in Kerala. “What proof does he have to say that madrasas are teaching execution of those who speak against God? The Governor is buttressing the moves of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is trying to deny Muslims their rights in the country,” said Mr. Vaniyambalam.

The Sangh Parivar, he said, is trying to create Islamophobia by demonising madrasas. “The Governor should not degrade himself to work for the RSS,” he said. “As constitutional head of the State, Mr. Khan should behave responsibly. He should withdraw the statement and apologise to the people of Kerala.”

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