NEW DELHI: A massive row erupted on Tuesday after Shia Central Waqf Board has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shut down madrassas in the country. The Shia body alleged the education imparted in these Islamic schools encouraged students to join terrorist ranks.
The Board, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said madrassas should be replaced by schools affiliated to the CBSE or the ICSE. It said the Islamic education should be made optional for the enrolled students.
Board's chairman Waseem Rizvi claimed that most of the madrasas are providing "misplaced and misconceived religious education".
Rizvi said that madrassas should be replaced by schools that are affiliated to the CBSE or the ICSE and they should allow non-Muslim students too.
"These schools should be affiliated to CBSE, ICSE, and allow non-Muslim students. Religious education should be made optional. I have written to the PM and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in this regard," he said in a tweet.
"This will make our country even stronger," he said.
Reacting to Rizvi's allegations, All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesman Khalilur Rehman Sajjad Nomani said madrassas had played a key role in the freedom movement and by raising questions on these schools, Rizvi was insulting them.
No plans to shut down Madrassas
However, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh had no plans to shut down the madrassas.
He said BJP is focusing on working towards the modernisation of education imparted in these institutes.
"Our governments have no plan to shut down the madrassas. We are in favour of their modernisation as well as the modernisation of the education imparted there. We want that alongside religious teachings, modern education should also be imparted to the madrassa students," PTI quoted Hussain as saying.
He quoted Modi's comment that madrassa students should have the Quran in one hand and computers in the other.
Owaisi slams 'joker' Rizvi over his anti-Madrasas letter to PM
AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi called Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi a 'buffoon' and an opportunist for claiming that Madrasas bred terrorists.
Speaking to ANI, Owaisi added Rizvi had sold his soul to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
"Wasim Rizvi is the biggest joker, an opportunist person. He has sold his soul to RSS. I challenge this buffoon to show one Shia or Sunni or Madrasa where such teachings are imparted. If he has proof then he should go and show it to the home minister," he added.
(With inputs from agencies)