NEW DELHI: The Delhi Minorities Commission has issued a notice to the Delhi University over its proposed course on “Islam and International Relations” under which various controversial topics like “Islam and Transnational Terrorism”, “Wahhabism”, “Petrodollar Islam” and “Globalisation of Transnational Jihad” will be taught.
The Political Science Department of the university is considering a proposal to start an elective course titled “Islam and International Relations” at the third or fourth semester of MA (Political Science). The draft of the proposed course has been uploaded on the website of the Delhi University and some media outlets have carried news reports on it.
Delhi Minorities Commission has issued a sou motu notice to the Registrar of Delhi University and asked him: “Has the university, while starting a course on “Islamic terrorism” deliberated that individuals and groups belonging to many religions have indulged in terrorism across the world in recent times?” “In such a situation, starting a course only on “Islamic terrorism” will send a wrong message to society, increase communal tension and help hate politics,” said the commission.
The minority panel has also asked the Registrar of the varsity to send all information about this course, a list of the books which will be used to teach this course and if persons and groups belonging to other religions also will be studied under this course.
Recently, there were media reports about a similar proposed course to be started at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The title of the course was “Islamic Terrorism.” But after the swift intervention of the minority commission, JNU backtracked and its Registrar wrote to the Commission that no such course has been approved. Some Muslim organizations including Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind had also condemned the JNU move.
The draft of the proposed course is available on the website of the Delhi University.
Under the title of “Course Objective”, it reads: “This paper introduces masters students to the multi-layered and multi-faceted theoretical, conceptual and philosophical issues that act as road maps when we attempt at understanding the linkages between the history, culture and theology of Islam and the structuration processes that are involved in the functioning of international relations. The course explains as to how in recent times, the genealogy and archeology of the religious and political thought in Islam and its connection with the systemic contours of societies and political institutions has emerged to be one of the most contested subjects in humanities and social sciences. The course then lays out as to how such an interest has been the product of the radicalization of political Islam and the growing unhealthy interface that has developed between Islam and violence, as a result of the globalization of Jihad that has brought in the medieval notions of a contest between abode of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the land of unbelievers (Dar al -harb). Owing to this, Islam has become a prominent element in the sphere of security studies. On this count, the study of Islam becomes very crucial for the students of International Relations.”
The course will have four units. Below are the contents of the course:
Unit I: Islam: Geneologies and Contemporary dimensions:
- Islam: From Prophethood to Imperialism
- Islam’s encounter with colonialism and modernity
- Islam and the postcolonial predicament
Unit II: Islam and International Relations: Some Conceptual Issues:
- Islam and the Theorizing of the Phenomenon of International
- Islamism, Political Islam and International Relations
- Islamic Conception of the State and the Future of the Westphalian Order
Unit III: Islam and the West.
- Orientalism and the Western interpretation of Islam
- Reverse orientalism and the Making of the Islamic discourse on the West
- Islam and the West after 9/11.
Unit IV: Islam and the Question of transnational terrorism
- From near enemy to the far enemy.
- Wahhabism, petrodollar Islam and the globalisation of transnational jihad.
- The United States, the military industrial complex and Islamic extremism.
- The Afghanistan war and the making of the Al- Qaeda.
- Iraq war and the making of the ISIS.
Even though the draft course has several controversial topics and terminologies, which the Muslims have been strongly denouncing as propaganda of the west, the professor who has reportedly drafted the course says his intention is “to remove the misconceptions about Islam and distinct it from the global terrorism “propagated by Western powers”.
Prof. Sanjeev Kumar claims that “This course is basically countering the one proposed by JNU as ‘Islamic Terrorism’ which was expected to be opposed.”