Thursday, 6 September 2007

Faced with the charge of harbouring foreign nationals, madarasas in the State have decided to observe special "open days"

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 6: Faced with the charge of harbouring foreign nationals, madarasas in the State have decided to observe special "open days" after the ongoing Ramzan vacation and set up their websites for transparency.
Though most of the 4000 and odd madarasas spread across the State have no restriction on the entry of visitors during office hours, the managements have decided to conduct special open days in a bid to tell people that they are transparent. On open days anyone can pay a visit to any of the madarasa, have interaction with students and teachers, inspect the curriculum and seek clarification of their doubts.
"As such we do not have any restrictions. But since doubts are being expressed after the police conducted midnight raids on some madarasas, we want to send home the message that our doors are always open. Anyone can walk in any time. But for the sake of visibility we will conduct open days," says Raheemuddin Ansari, a senior office-bearer of Deeni Madaris Board, the umbrella body of Islamic seminaries in the State.
The madarasas will reopen after the annual Ramzan vacation in the fourth week of October. "We have always kept open our door open. Our hostels (Darul Iqama) follow a strict spiritual-cum-mundane syllabus. People can inspect our accounts and our records. All our accounts are audited. Those in doubt can interview our students and teachers," says Mufti Mastan Ali, chief of Jamiatul Mominath.
The Deeni Madaris Board will soon hold a meeting with Minorities Welfare Minister Muhammad Ali Shabber to chalk out the modalities on interlinking of madarasas and setting up their individual websites. Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy had suggested that madarasas go online and post their information on the internet for transparency.
Moulana Anwar Ahmad of Jamia Nizamia says the madarasas have nothing to hide. "A delegation of senior journalists from the US visited the madarasas recently. Even the US government is giving funds to madarasas in Hyderabad. If we are harbouring foreign nationals, will the US government give us funds," he asks.

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