Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University B. Ekbal inaugurating the
State conference of the Kerala Yukthivadi Sanghom in Kannur on
Reformist Voices of Islam—Mediating Islam and Modernity:
‘Reformist Islam’, today
an oft-heard slogan, is notoriously difficult to define, for it can
mean different things to different people. Recent years have
witnessed the sudden burgeoning of volumes on the subject ....Read
B. Ekbal, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kerala, has
said that political Islam that advocates the religion’s capture of
political power has to be seen as no less dangerous than the fascist
Hindutva forces, reports The Hindu.
"Religious extremism and a soft
Hindutva mindset are gaining strength in the State. Society often
seemed to be taking a soft approach to a special kind of religious
extremism, while opposing the
politics of religious extremism", The Hindu quoted Dr. Ekbal
Former Vice Chancellor of Kerala
University Dr. Ekbal is also
a public health and science activist. His observations came while he
the State conference of the Kerala Yukthivadi Sanghom (rationalists’
association) in Kannur yesterday.
He said the growth of political Islam
ran parallel to that of U.S. imperialism. Both had to be opposed
He said upper-caste fascists contended
that while all Muslims were not terrorists, all terrorists were
Muslims. While this view was unacceptable, the perception that
extremist tendencies were absent among Muslims should be opposed.
Lamenting that Kerala society had
forgotten its scientific and rational legacy, Dr. Ekbal said the
State had now become a breeding ground for irrational ideas. The
State might be experiencing industrial stagnation, but a spiritual
industry was gaining ground here.
“Kerala is witnessing export and
import of fake spiritualism,” he said adding any irrational thinking
easily got acceptance here, forgetting the rational legacy upheld by
Sahodaran Ayyappan, M.C. Joseph, Kuttippuzha Krishna Pillai and
“The people of Kerala are now paying a
heavy price for the absence of rational thinking,” he said. He urged
the rationalists to seek the support of peace-loving believers to
fight religious extremism.
Dr. Ekbal said rational thinking never
had a greater period of acceptability worldwide than today as
science had unravelled many mysteries of life and universe. The
growth of the fake spirituality industry in the State was an
While the program was presided over by U. Kalanathan, president of the
sanghom, Karivellur Murali, Kureepuzha Sreekumar and
Gangan Azhikode also addressed the audience. The program was followed by a seminar on
“Secular democracy against religious terrorism”.