JNU’s ‘terrrorism course’ stirs controversy: Report

 A JNU-approved agenda note to set up a National Security Studies Centre, where “Islamic terrorism” is one of the proposed courses, says “if you want peace, prepare for war”, The Telegraph reported.

The campus is now witnessing a war of words among a section of teachers since the JNU Academic Council approved the proposal listing 21 key areas on which courses could be started, including “Islamic terrorism” and “demographic changes and national security”.

“How can religion be associated with terrorism? Sociologically, the fundamentals of any religion – theology or rituals – do not teach violence,” said Vivek Kumar, a professor of sociology at the School of Social Sciences in JNU.

He said “Islamic terrorism” was a western coinage after 9/11.

“The Quran and the Hadith do not speak about violence. They speak about resisting violence. We should not fall into the western construction,” Kumar said. He also disapproved of the proposed course titled “demographic changes and national security”.

There is a debate among a section of the population that the high population growth rate among Muslims was creating a demographic imbalance.

“The highest birth rate in India is among tribals, then villagers and then Muslims. There is a theory that with prosperity, the fertility rate declines. The premise is faulty in these two courses. When the premise is faulty, knowledge production will be faulty, which will not be conducive for policy formulation,” Kumar said.

Another senior faculty member alleged that the phrases “Islamic terrorism” and “demographic change” were often used by the RSS-BJP to “malign Muslims”.

“National security is taught in various courses at the (JNU’s) School of International Studies. What is the need for these courses? Has it been done to please the BJP government?” he said, requesting anonymity.

“If Islamic terrorism can be a title, why should there not be a course on Hindu terrorism?” he asked.

He said the title “Islamic terrorism” had broken the principle of liberalism in a liberal university. “Terrorism has no religion,” he said.

Objections had been raised to the title “Islamic terrorism” at the JNU Academic Council meeting last week where the proposal to set up a National Security Studies Centre was discussed.

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