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Following complaints that the content is unpleasant, the Aligarh Muslim University has withdrawn the writings of 20th-century Islamic authors Abul Ala al-Maududi and Sayyid Qutub from the syllabus of the Islamic Studies Department and has replaced them with a course on Sanatan Dharma.

About 20 academics recently complained in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the inclusion of the two authors' work on the syllabus. A top AMU official confirmed that the decision to discard the works, which the protesting experts believed promoted extremist political Islam, was made on Monday.

"We took this step to avoid any further unnecessary controversy on this topic since some scholars have criticised the works and have complained to the PM regarding what they have described as objectionable contents in the works of the two authors," the official told PTI.

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AMU is an inclusive one with students of all religions attending the institution and that is why the move was made about the introduction of the course on Sanatan dharma, said spokesperson Umar Salim Peerzada.

“AMU is an inclusive university with students of all religions coming here. We've thus started a 'Sanatan dharma studies' course in the department of Islamic studies in MA," ANI quoted Peerzada as saying.

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Abul Ala al-Maududi (1903-1979) was an Indian Islamic scholar who migrated to Pakistan shortly after Partition. He founded the Jamaat-e-Islami, a Muslim organisation in India and Pakistan. His leading works include "Tafhim-ul-Quran".

He graduated from the Deoband seminary in 1926 but fell out with it and its political wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.

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Sayyid Qutub (1906-1966), an Egyptian author, was also a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s. He was known for his radical views and was jailed for opposing President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt.

Qutub authored over a dozen works, including a commentary on the Quran and "Social justice in Islam".

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AMU spokesperson Omar Peerzada said the works of these authors were part of optional courses and, hence, they could be dropped without discussing the issue in the Academic Council, as is mandated if any change is to be made in the syllabus.

(With agency inputs)

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