NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi has repeated his allegation that madrassas are creating are promoting hard line sentiments against Hindus and Shias. He also alleged that the Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband is hosting hard line foreign preachers.
"The hardliner mentality being created in madrasas against the Hindu and Shia communities is the cause behind recent incidents of communal violence," Rizvi said, supposably referring to recent communal tensions in Bihar and West Bengal.
He also alleged that the hard line sentiment may not be home-grown, and may instead be seeping in through foreigners. "In Darul Uloom and other madrasas situated in the border areas in India, some foreign hardliner are teaching students" Rizvi said, according to news agency ANI.
This is not the first time such an opinion is being expressed from the UP Shia Waqf Board. In January, some of the members of the board had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for madrassas to be shut down across the country.
Apart from the allegation on radicalisation, Rizvi had said madrassas were providing "misplaced and misconceived religious education". He had also pointed out that Muslim students studying in such institutions are moving towards unemployment since madrassas are not recognised as educational institutions.
The Shia body has often found itself on the other side of opinion from Sunni organisations like waqf boards and the personal law board. The most visible disagreement between the two sect-based outfits in recent times has been over the Ayodhya controversy.
Rizvi has on a number of occasions supported the construction of a Ram Janmabhoomi temple at the disputed location in Ayodhya, and a mosque elsewhere. The waqf had even pledged to donate 10 silver arrows to be used on a proposed 100-meter tall statue of Ram.
(With inputs from ANI)