Amid the perceived and possible dangers of the terror group like the Islamic State (IS) radicalising and recruiting Muslim youths, the Barelwi sect among Muslims has decided to include a chapter against terrorism in all madrassas functioning under its fold across the country.
The Dargahe-Aala-Hazrat, the headquarters of the sect in Bareilly, announced on Friday about the move which is the first-of-its-kind taken by a Muslim sect on its own. The leadership of the sect had recently issued a fatwa asking Muslims not to attend the funeral prayers of convicted “terrorists.”
The move comes days after the Union Home Ministry had announced creating programmes to counter the narrative of terror groups in social media and other technological platforms aimed at brainwashing youths.Millions of followers
Barelwi sect, a prominent religious school of thought among Muslims in the Indian sub-continent, has millions of followers across the country and the world over. It runs thousands of religious seminaries across the country.
Nasir Qureshi, a spokesperson of the sect, told The Hindu on the phone that the move was seen by the sect leadership as a strategy to counter the threats posed by terror groups like the IS and Taliban.
“We have not come across direct involvement of any Barelwi Muslims in the IS and other terror groups. It has been our stand since very beginning that no form of violence has any place in Islam. The terror groups like the IS, which are using the name of Islam to justify the violence they perpetrate, are no Muslims,” he said.
The chapter, titled “Terrorism and Islam”, will be included in Fazil course which is equivalent to graduation degree in Islamic studies.
“It was important because there is a perceived danger about terror groups like the IS recruiting youths by manipulating Islamic texts like Quran [God’s words] and Hadis [words of Prophet Mohammad],” said the spokesperson.
Mr. Qureshi echoed what is generally a widely held belief among majority of Muslims that terror groups present wrong translation of Quranic verses and other religious scriptures to radicalise youths and justify violence.
“Most of the scriptures are in Arabic, a language which most of the people don’t know how to read and understand. Terror groups like the IS and Taliban manipulate the verses and present wrong translation of these texts,” he said.
“So, we decided to formally make an elaborate chapter about the falsehood, manipulation and misrepresentation of Islamic texts by these groups as part of formal education in our madrassas,” he added.
The chapter, which is in the process of being formulated, will explain in detail the nuances of strategies through which the terror group misuse Islamic and Islamic scriptures. Besides the chapter, Mr. Qureshi said, regular workshops would be organised in religious seminaries affiliated with Barelwi religious school of thought.