Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University has removed the works of 20th century Islamic authors Abul Ala al-Maududi and Sayyid Qutub from the syllabus of Islamic Studies Department following claims that the content was objectionable.
About 20 scholars had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi complaining about the inclusion of the work of the two authors in the syllabus.
The decision to drop the texts, which the protesting scholars claimed propagated radical political Islam, was taken on Monday, a senior AMU official said.
“We took this step to avoid any further unnecessary controversy on this topic since some scholars have criticised the works and have complained to the PM regarding what they have described as objectionable contents in the works of the two authors,” the official told PTI on Wednesday.
He said this should not be considered an erosion of academic freedom.
Abul Ala al-Maududi (1903-1979) was an Indian Islamic scholar who migrated to Pakistan shortly after Partition. He founded the Jamaat-e-Islami, a Muslim organisation in India and Pakistan. His leading works include “Tafhim-ul-Quran”.
He graduated from the Deoband seminary in 1926 but fell out with it and its political wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
Sayyid Qutub (1906-1966), an Egyptian author, was also a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s. He was known for his radical views and was jailed for opposing President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt.
Qutub authored over a dozen works, including a commentary on the Quran and “Social justice in Islam”.
AMU spokesperson Omar Peerzada said the works of these authors were part of optional courses and, hence, they could be dropped without discussing the issue in the Academic Council, as is mandated if any change is to be made in the syllabus.