Qawmi education and Hefazat

Sholakia imam Maulana Farid Uddin Masud, Islamic Foundation DG Shamim Afzal and Hefazat Dhaka unit leader Maulana Yusufi joined the Somoy TV talkshow on Qawmi madrasa. In the wake of “civil war” threat from Hefazat chief Shafi a day before, the education ministry yesterday dropped the draft law from agenda in cabinet meeting.

The Qawmi madrasa leaders protest the draft law that includes formation of an authority until a specialised Qawmi university is established to give certificates to the students. They oppose the provision of selecting the chairman and member secretary of the independent body by the government and demand that one of the top leaders of the Qawmi movement, for example Hefazati Shafi, is made chairman. They are opposed to the intrusion of outsiders in their unique system of management and curriculum.

Recently the Australian high commissioner visited Lalkhan Bazaar Qawmi madrasa (run by Hefazati Izhar) and assured them of extending support in modernising Qawmi education which is widely blamed for patronising militancy and radical Islamisation. Qawmi madrasas also don’t sing National Anthem.

Hefazati madrasa of Hathazari, four other large Qawmi madrasa boards and some other small boards which lead most of the unknown number of Qawmi madrasas teach Arabic and issue certificates which are not recognised by the government. For this, students after passing madrasas don’t get options but becoming imams or teachers.

The authority and later the proposed university will issue the certificates if the law is passed.

But the Hefazati talkshow participant yesterday said the government was trying to include computer, science, general knowledge, mathematics, logic, political science in the syllabus. Hence Qawmi madrasas would become carbon copies of Alia madrasap which can’t be accepted.

Co-chair of the policy formulation committee Maulana Masud then said citing the draft law in hand that as per the draft law, the Qawmi madrasas will follow Deobandi madrasa curriculum only. He also said the committee incorporated all the recommendations made by Shafi as its chairman before he had resigned.

And then Maulana Yusufi was embarrassed, he said that suggestion might have been dropped. He was opposing the draft law after taking notes from Kaler Kantha, Inqilab and Amader Somoy.

So, it’s a bit clear why the Hefazatis are crazy. They want the chairmanship.

Maulana Yusufi also surprised me as he was requesting the government to honour the senior Qawmi leaders by giving them the leadership of the authority, and, most surprisingly, withdrawing the cases filed against over 150,000 Hefazati men recently and fulfilling at 1 or 2 or 3 demands of their 13 points during this tenure!!!

Minutes ago, the Islamic Foundation DG said no alems of Hefazat and their supporters could identify a law which is anti-Qur’an but they were demanding cancellation of such laws! He also questioned the root of the 13-point demands and the movement, and said it was planted by the Jamaat.

In response to a question from an audience, the DG blamed politicisation in Islamic education had tarnished the genuine Qur’anic education and created division among the Islamic scholars of the country. This is why the Muslims of the country are confused and have been losing trust on them.



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