Guwahati, India – An Indian state governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalist Party on Wednesday passed a law abolishing all Islamic schools, saying it provides sub-standard education.
Opposition politicians criticized the move, saying it reflected the government’s anti-Muslim stance in the Hindu-majority country.
State Minister of Education Himanta Pessoa Sarma told the local association that more than 700 schools, known as schools, in northeastern Assam will close by April.
“We need more doctors, police officers, bureaucrats and teachers from the Muslim minority rather than the imams of mosques,” said Mr. Sarma, a rising star in Modi’s BJP.
He said the government would turn them into regular schools because the education provided in schools could not prepare anyone for “the worldly world and the concerns of the earth.”
Opposition politicians said the move was an attack on Muslims.
“The idea is to eliminate Muslims,” said Wajid Ali Chowdhury, an MP for the opposition Congress Party.
More than 100 senior civil servants and retired diplomats on Tuesday urged the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, to repeal a new law criminalizing forced religious conversion of brides that is seen as targeting Muslims.