India’s Powerful Muslim Seminary Opposes Terrorism

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Senior clerics from the 150-year-old Muslim seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, which is said to have inspired the Taliban, have issued an edict saying they wished to wipe out terrorism.

The Indpendent reports: “The Deoband institute was established in the aftermath of the 1857 uprising against British rule, an uprising that was brutally suppressed by the imperial forces. Highly influential, it controls thousands of smaller seminaries and madrassas around the world, from Britain to Afghanistan.

“Of Britain’s 1,400 mosques, about 600 are run by Deobandi-affiliated clerics. Seventeen of the UK’s 26 Islamic seminaries follow Deobandi teachings, which produce about 80 per cent of all domestically trained Muslim clerics.

“Analysts say the move to speak out against terrorism would be welcomed by the overwhelming majority of India’s 140 million Muslim population, many of whom believe the image of their religion has been tarnished by the actions of a small number of people.”

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Author: SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist

Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.) Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department's SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi. In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF's Eco-tourism policy. He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on "Development Journalism" to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years. In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India --- West Bengal and Orissa. Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia. Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there. He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation. And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.

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