ISLAMABAD: When a female student of the Islamic International University decided to take a photograph of her engineering department building, she had no idea how deeply she was insulting Abdullah’s religion until he walked over and started slapping her.
More than 100 students of the Islami Jamiat Talba (IJT) are now demanding that their fellow member be allowed to continue his studies.
A former student of Islamic International University Islamabad (IIU), Abdullah Fareed, had been expelled after he verbally and physically assaulted a female student for taking photographs last Saturday. The engineering department is in the male section of the IIU campus but girls visit this building every week for practicals.
According to an eyewitness, a group of girls were visiting the building when one of them decided to take its pictures. Fareed had been the university head of IJT until last month, when he lost the elections, a source said. “Fareed approached us and told my friend not to take pictures because it was against Islam,” explained the eye-witness. “He slapped her four times and when she fell to the ground, he verbally abused her and told her she would burn in hell for this immoral act,” recalled a witness, who did not want to be named.
The other girls fled the scene and later protested against Fareed’s abuse. Subsequently, a special committee headed by Professor Danishmand of the Engineering Department expelled him. A student of the Electronic Department said: “The IJT has become a mafia, who think they are above the law, (but) we will not allow the readmission of Fareed under any circumstances.”
Mohammad Laiq, a final year student of the Engineering Department and close friend of Fareed, confirmed that the IJT had asked President IIU Prof Anwar Hussain Siddiqui to review his decision. “We have no evil designs against any organisations or students. However, we ask that girls follow Islamic values or face the consequences,” he warned.
He said Fareed was in his final year and should be allowed to finish his studies. “Three years of his life should not be wasted over this small issue,” he felt. Four girls of the Engineering Department, Aysha Anwar, Imrana Gul, Iram Rashid and Shehnaz Sahar said the student should not be expelled as the victim “deserved punishment for the immoral act”.
However, Naila Amanat of the Electrical Department expressed outrage at the incident and welcomed the action, saying that student organisations had ruled over the administration for long enough. “No girl can talk with male students even if they are class fellows. Are we living in the 15th century? Or are we being ruled by the Taliban?” Amanat said.
The Vice-President IIU, Parveen Qadir Agha, in an exclusive chat with The Express Tribune admitted that the administration was being pressurised to reverse its decision. Mohammad Asim, Nazim Islami Jamiat Talba, said, “Abdullah Fareed has nothing to do with us. However, oneand- a-half years ago, he was a worker of IJT.”
But at the same time, Asim felt the university had taken the decision to expel Fareed without conducting a proper inquiry. Meanwhile, Parveen Agha expressed concern about the increasing clout of the IJT and the support it had of institutes “more powerful than the university”. She said the administration was seriously considering writing a letter to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani over the growing influence of religious organisations in the IIU. She said parents were concerned about the security of their children in such an environment.