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‘Teenagers seated together, masturbation and homosexuality being taught’: Kerala IUML leader on educational reforms

Senior Muslim League of the Indian Union (IUML) leader and former legislator Abdurahiman Randathani on Tuesday in Kannur, Kerala, spoke out against mixed seating in schools, gender-neutral uniforms and other education reforms aimed at gender justice, saying they would promote “masturbation and homosexuality” among students.

Speaking at an event in Kannur, Randathani said, “Girls have made great strides in higher education, but nothing has been achieved by sitting together (with boys). Sitting teenage boys and girls together would lead to major reforms in the education sector. And then when you hear what is being taught – masturbation and homosexuality – what would be the fate of our culture.”

Randathani’s comments were made against the backdrop of Education Minister V Sivankutty, who told the Assembly on Monday that the government has not taken a decision on introducing gender-neutral uniforms, mixed seating in schools or changing school hours as proposed by a panel of experts.

Later, Randathani justified his controversial comments by saying that he was not against reforms in the education sector, but that they should not be reduced to gender-neutral uniforms and mixed seating. “If school times are changed, it will affect madrassa education. Students cannot be forced to wear jeans or slacks under the guise of gender-neutral uniforms,” he said.

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The CPI(M)-led Kerala government’s U-turn on education reforms came in the wake of protests from several Muslim groups, who felt the move was an attack on Islam. Congressman IUML had also vehemently opposed the introduction of gender-neutral uniforms in schools.

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The Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama, a leading group of Islamic clerics close to IUML, also welcomed the state government’s decision to withdraw from reforms aimed at ensuring gender justice in the education sector.


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