I am studying at International Islamic university and this is the reason enough to be called a zealot. People think we do not listen to music or watch movies. They think our uniform is a black burqa for girls and kameez shalwar with topi and beard for males.

The most embarrassing moment in my university life was when a friend from King Edward Medical College asked about my institute. I replied contemptuously that I was doing a bachelors in biotechnology from the International Islamic University and in return he just cracked up and said, “That university near sabzi mandi? Are you a part of the Jamiat?” I was a fresher and instead of giving a rejoinder I just left but I think now I can answer all the questions quite assertively and will stand up for my university.

I write back to those who thinks IIUI is a university fanatics and nuns. The fact is students with diverse fields take admission at IIUI and it is not a prerequisite to be a part of Jamiat for survival at IIUI. Students of IIUI are as talented and transliterate as the students of NUST, LUMS, IBA, COMSATS and FAST. Many Islamians have international scholarships and are doing masters, PhD and post doctorate degrees from prestigious institutes worldwide. We can astutely carry the ball in every domain and can easily adjust in any state of affairs.

The education system at my university has always been up to the mark. The best of all is the “Hifz Test” which is mandatory for getting one’s degree. Islamians have to give a colloquial presentation of the last 20 surahs from the Quran-e-Pak and 6 kalmahs with elocution and English translation at the end. People consider it as albatross around the neck and call us religious extremists. Alhamdulillah, we are Muslims. As far as Jamiat is concerned, it would be totally unfair to judge any institute on the basis of only about 25% of its student body. In fact we are proud of the Jamiat. At least they are striving to practice Islam.

IIUI provides a satisfactory platform to students from austere family backgrounds in terms of religion. Despite of modernisation there are many families subsist in our tribal areas where females are restrained to pursue further education because of the co-education system in most of universities. At Islamic university students across Pakistan especially from Gilgit Baltistan, Skardu, Hunza, Quetta, Chitral and Kashmir are getting education. It is a common observation that students from any part of world can more easily adjust at IIUI than other institutes of Pakistan.

I am not trying to convince students to consider Islamic too while applying in other universities. But people must stop creating awkward moments for us in public by asking foolish questions. Kindly think thrice before making any judgment about IIUI.

FAIZA LATIF,

Islamabad, April 22.