Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The symbol of liberation: a Hi-Tech madrassa

An extract from an article worth reading.

Set amidst the sylvan surroundings of Rajasthan's Ramgarh town, 10 km from the Jaipur railway station, is a sprawling stretch of 173 green acres encircled by a tranquil valley and cool lake - this is where you will find a completely new experiment with the traditional madrassa education system, the Madrassa Jameatul Hidaya.

Usually, madrassas, or Islamic seminaries, are seen by the media as ghettoes of antiquity, orthodoxy and obscurantism. Madrassas have become the butt of suspicion following a series of investigations after the Sep 11 terrorist strikes in the US. They end up proving their credentials of faith and by providing the authorities with certificates of loyalty.
But can you imagine a madrassa with computers, electronic labs, cricket, basketball and volleyball teams and debating societies in English and Hindi? Jameatul Hidaya is one such institution where maulanas work on computers.
The institution is an apt example of how a madrassa must be in these days of hi-tech life. These maulanas are working with the motto: The holy Quran in one hand and a computer in the other.
Maulana Mohammad Fazl-ur-Rahim Mujaddedi, an Islamic scholar and the Ameer-e-Jameatul Hidaya (proctor) of the seminary states: "For Indian Muslims, it's a dream come true.

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