Lit fest inaugurated by Sadiqali Thangal 'un-Islamic', says Samastha-controlled varsity

Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal in conversation with Santhosh George Kulangara at the Malabar Literature Festival in Kozhikode. Photo: Instagram/Malabar Literature Festival

Malappuram: The Darul Huda Islamic University, an educational institute of higher religious learning that is controlled by the E K faction of the Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama, has declared the Malabar Literature Festival currently being held in Kozhikode "against Islamic teachings and the traditional views of the Jama'at and Samastha".

Clarifying that the private, non-profit university has no connection to the literature festival, it has also warned that Hudawis – alumni of the institute - would face action if they associate with the event. ('Hudawi' is the title scholars receive once they complete the university programme.)

Book Plus Publishers, a publishing house under Hadia, an association of Hudawis for devoted Islamic activities, are the main organisers of the festival.

The festival, which began on November 30, has witnessed sessions participated by eminent personalities from politics, literature and media. Though it was organised by a publishing house comprising religious scholars, no religious restriction was imposed on the programme. Darul Huda faced a volley of criticism for the unrestrained nature of the event forcing it to disown the festival.

“We have learned that organisers have dragged Darul Huda's name unnecessarily into the festival. Some even said that Darul Huda funded the event by collecting money in the community's name. This is not true," a Darul Huda official said.

"During the programme, Hudawis mingle with the women attending the festival without any restriction... That is unacceptable. Hence Darul Huda was forced to dissociate from the festival," the person said.

Though Darul Huda has been stringent in taking action against their students taking part in the festival, the irony is that Panakkad Sayid Sadiqali Shihab Thangal, the president of the administrative authority of the university, inaugurated the event.

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