US Islamic Scholar Amina Wadud Whose Lecture was Cancelled by Madras University Questions Intellectuals Capitulating to Threatening Fringe Groups

A day after she was forced to call off her visit to the city and prevented from speaking at the University of Madras, US Islamic scholar Amina Wadud sharply questioned the capitulation of intellectuals to fringe groups and voiced her disillusionment with the country.

Dr. Wadud was scheduled to speak at the University of Madras, interact with select media at the US Consulate and give a talk at the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College For Women, mainly on issues concerning gender and Islam.

“It is also a shame that Madras University went to so much trouble to be thwarted by factions of the ignorant. Where to intellectualism if that is so?” she tweeted on Monday.

“People of India, you have a chance to redeem yourselves for your own best interest. Do not be silent when the ignorant speak, claim your voice. And when one gives a service, one can just as easily stop giving. So that is my location, I am no longer willing to give to India,” she said, preferring to speak through her Twitter and Facebook accounts rather than directly to the media.

She said she would no longer agree to participate in any public event or participate at any university or college or community organisation in the wake of this development.


Organisers of the talk at the University of Madras said though they had not received any formal advisory to cancel the event, a police officer from Triplicane had called them on Sunday and cautioned them against possible violence by protest groups.

Dr. Wadud, in a letter, addressed to the University and the American Consulate, denied claims of some Muslim groups that her speeches in the country had created problems in the past.

“There is public record regarding my actual activities since I have been in India and each will substantiate my counter-claim that no problem has ever ensued upon my public address,” she wrote. She had delivered lectures in Hyderabad, New Delhi and Kerala recently.

Dr. Wadud had over 300 tweets on her Twitter page, from supporters, and over 1,868 members, supporting the Facebook group, Amina Wadud Supporters.