Thursday, 8 September 2016

Zakir Naik row brings Kadapa school into the limelight

By Udumula Sudhakar Reddy

A school inspired by Dr Zakir Naik is being run in Kadapa but the organisers say that it has no links with the controversial cleric. Peace Islamic International School is being run by software engineer, Mr Syed Ghouse Peer, in Gazetted Officers Colony near Mariapuram in Kadapa. Mr Peer said he was inspired by Dr Naik’s speeches and implemented the syllabus of Dr Naik’s school.

He said, “I heard Dr Zakir Naik’s speech on TV and was inspired by him. This school has nothing to do with him or his foundation. We are not receiving any funds. The school is state recognised and is being run with the fees paid by the children. I haven’t met Dr Zakir Naik at any point of my life and neither has he visited our school.”

Mr Peer further said that “I went to the Chennai school run by Zakir Naik’s foundation and got the syllabus copy. While we follow the regular curriculum, an extra two hours is being spent on teaching Quran and Arabic.”

Peace Islamic International School has a branch in Kalburagi in Karnataka. Mr Peer had earlier worked with IT majors in India and the UK. The school teaches martial arts has segregated premises in higher classes for boys and girls.

Dr Naik is a Mumbai-based Islamic preacher, who claims specialisation in comparative religion. An exponent of the Salafi ideology, he has come under cloud after the Bangladesh government said the terrorists who attacked an upmarket cafe and killed 20 persons were inspired by his lectures. Dhaka subsequently banned his speeches.

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