RAWALPINDI: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday reiterated that he would not accept the government’s seminary syllabus reforms, saying that the JUI-F would notlet anyone change the religious education system.
At a press conference at Jamia Islamia in Saddar, Mr Rehman said linking seminaries with terrorism was the “wrong narrative” and that seminaries were imparting “education in the country and working for peace in society”.
He added: “The madaris are with democracy.”
Mr Rehman also criticised the seminary reforms after a meeting of his party’s central executive committee (CEC) meeting on Jan 4 in Islamabad, saying that it was condemnable to make improvements or reform seminaries and would have a negative impact on society.
“The JUI-F rejects the education ministry’s seminary reforms and the CEC has decided to launch protests across the country in this regard,” he said.
JUI-F leader says planning to launch another anti-govt protest movement
He said the JUI-F has also rejected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s decision to distribute honorariums among seminary students in the name of scholarships from the national exchequer.
“Students of any seminary will not get money from the government for religious education. Religious scholars also rejected the honorarium for mosque heads under the previous government, calling it a conspiracy against seminaries,” he said.
Mr Rehman claimed the United States and the Western world were interested in making changes to the syllabus of seminaries while doling out billions of dollars.
“These forces who termed the seminary syllabus a threat to world peace, we want to tell them their policies in the world were the main reason for extremism around the globe and during the Afghan Jihad, these forces forced people to put rifles on their shoulders to wage war for Western interests,” he said.
Mr Rehman said on Thursday that people would soon see change, and the aftershocks of the Azadi March from Karachi to Islamabad were being observed.
He said he would launch another protest movement against the government.
“If no method is successful to defeat the fake government, the government will be overthrown by the people. Organisations are in talks with the madaris,” he said.
To a question, Mr Rehman said the PPP and PML-N had dented the unity of the opposition by supporting the PTI government’s legislation to extend the tenure of the chief of army staff.
He said: “We are not serving the establishment. Apparently, the opposition is part of the government.”
He also said the government had failed to deliver.
“The illegal and incompetent government created inflation, people are committing suicide and children are being sold,” he claimed.
Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2020