Police force Madras University to cancel Islamic feminist's lecture

A lecture about feminist reforms in Islam at Madras University was cancelled after an intervention by the police as there was fear of protests by some groups. Amina Wadud, an American academic was scheduled to speak at the university, PK Abdul Rahiman, assistant professor at the department for Islamic Studies at the university told the Wall Street Journal.

The police had telephoned the professor to cancel the lecture titled 'Islam, Gender and Reform', because fringe groups were planning to protest against it. The professor was told that he would have to deal with any consequences of the lecture.

According to a report in Times of India,vice chancellor R Thandavan had to call off the program following a text from the city police officer: "Police cannot allow this (the lecture) considering law and order (sic). Please take action to suspend / cancel the programme."

Amin Wadud in this photo. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Amin Wadud in this photo. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

“They feared a law and order issue,” Mr Rahiman said to the Wall Street Journal. “I informed the university and they didn’t want to take a risk. But the question I ask is whether academics inside a university can be guided by elements outside of the university?”

"This has set a wrong precedent of police interfering in university programmes. We've lost an opportunity to host an internationally renowned scholar," said PK Abdul Rahiman, head of the Centre for Islamic Studies, to the Times of India.

Wadud has been tweeting on her official account about the incident.



Updated Date: Jul 30, 2013 17:45 PM

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