Book Title: Madrasas in the Age of Islamophobia
Author: Ziya Us Salam and M Aslam Parvaiz
In the age of Islamophobia, madrasas are at crossroads—infamously labelled as ‘dens for terrorism’ where the ‘youth are misguided, motivated and recruited to resort to anti-Indian activities’. It is little known that in the Golden past, madrasas schooled reformers and personalities such as Rajendra Prasad, Motilal Nehru, Raja Rammohan Roy besides other noteworthy Islamic scholars. Through bonafide stories of products of Madras, the authors narrate the decline of the madrasas from being centres of excellence to institutions of restricted learnings with dark clouds of stigma surrounding them. Short of resources, rejected by the well-heeled, and condemned by politicians, will they be able to turn the corner? The answer is blowing in the wind. Excerpt: The summer of 2013 was cruel for the 200-year-old madrasa Aliya in Rampur. Built by the Nawab family in 1774, the madrasa was demolished in July 2013 following a dispute between the members of madrasa Trust and the local MLA, Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan, now a Lok Sabha MP from Rampur. At its prime, the madrasa was a source of pride for the denizens of the western Utter Pradesh township, otherwise well known for its Raza Library and notorious for its knives.