Indian Muslims oppose fatwa against co-education

Posted on July 17, 2007

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By Shaikh Azizur Rahman, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Indian Muslim leaders are uniting with female students in opposition to a “fatwa” or Islamic edict demanding that Muslim girls stay away from academic institutions where boys are studying.

The order, issued by the influential theological school of Darul Uloom Deoband in northern India last week, said coeducation should be banned in schools, colleges, universities and even religious schools because it creates the potential for many evils.

But in an unprecedented display of solidarity, many Muslim leaders have joined with female students across India to oppose the edict, charging that it is detrimental to the real development of Muslim society.

“Right now, all across the country, Muslims are sending their children to study in schools and universities,” said Muslim community leader Akhtar Alvi, professor at Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi. […]

Even some Muslim religious leaders have spoken out against the fatwa.

“Studying in a coeducation institution is not unlawful for boys and girls as long as they follow Islamic values and remain within its parameters,” said Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, a spokesman for the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board [AIMPLB]. [more]

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