Waseem Raja’s remarks about Madrassas triggers outrage among Muslims.
Muslim community is unhappy with the comments made by Waseem Raja, a History Department professor at AMU for saying that “madrassas are dens of vice and homosexuality”. According to them, such remarks will only malign the reputation of the institution. Madrassas are places where studies and learning are conducted. They added that such type of comments is issued to strengthen the anti-Muslim and communal forces. Madrassas have played a vital role in promoting national integration and brotherhood and many non-Muslims too study there. Earlier a furore was raised when people had said that Madrassas are breeding grounds for terrorism activities after the Burdhwan blast occurred in West Bengal.
“Either he has possesses less knowledge about what is taught in Madrasas or he is a traitor of Muslims. If an individual is found indulging in such activities he should be punished for the same. Who is he to target every Madrassa? said,” Nizamuddin Rayeen chief of Mumbai Congress minority cell.
“Homosexuality is something which happens everywhere not only in Madrasas. However, steps must be taken to prevent these incidents and take action against culprits. If something like this is happening then Madrassa’s functioning should be monitored. It also affects the child’s future. You cannot blame a religious teacher or entire institute if some individual is doing wrong said,” Imran Rasool head of WIN TV.
“I don’t agree with his statement. Religious person cannot be held responsible for these aspects. He can’t blindly send messages without possessing evidence. Prof Waseem is a highly qualified person there is a possibility of some misunderstanding in this issue. However, if it is true then I do not agree with him,” said Maulana Zaheer Abbas, vice president of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee.
“When many persons belonging to the same gender are residing together, these kinds of activities occur. However, it is unjustified to demand the closure of Madrassas. This is an act of defaming madrasas and its teachings. He should be teaching the students and educating them, if something like this is happening. Can someone prove that homosexuality does not take place, at male hostels?,”said Musharraf Shamshi, Journalist and Alumni of Aligarh Muslim University.
Professor Abbas Alam, HOD Urdu department, Rizvi College of Arts, Science and Commerce who has been educated in Madrassas and Mumbai University said, “Whosoever has said this statement should support his claim with concrete proof like video footage. He should not issue such derogatory comment. Muslim community should come forward to protest against this person to know the intention behind the statements issued by him. If he is demanding that Madrassas should be shut then there are suggestions where it can be improved. If there is any flaw in the system it should be rectified.”
The chat grabs of Waseem Raja’s WhatsApp message reportedly states, “We want removal of madarssa…Where homo sexuality is rampant…Maulanas are part of it.”
He added that madrassas should be banned. He has allegedly suggested that the fortunes of Muslims youth will only change if madrassas in the country are banned.
However, Raja has denied making any such statement. He said, “I have been part of SAARC conferences in the past and I have always spoken about reformation of the community. Are madarsas not part of the community? That does not mean I said such things, my phone was hacked and I have blocked the chat group now.”
Meanwhile, the students of AMU have condemned the statement and took to social media to lodge their protest. They also said that the statements made by him were uncalled for.
“People like you (Raja) spoil the name of the university. God has given you reason, so think before speaking,” said one student.
According to reports, VC of the university is away and action will be taken only when he returns.