Muslim Seminary Chief in India Is Fired for Pro-Hindu Interview

India’s best-known Islamic seminary ousted its reformist leader on Sunday, less than seven months after he assumed the post, because he was quoted as speaking favorably of a Hindu nationalist suspected of fomenting deadly anti-Muslim riots.

The reformer, Mullah Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, was appointed in January to lead the seminary, Darul Uloom, in the city of Deoband in Uttar Pradesh State. He had become popular in part because of the success of his madrasas, or Islamic schools, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra that bridged traditional Islamic education with the needs of the modern world by teaching students secular subjects like science and computer programming. He had hoped to bring those innovations to Darul Uloom.

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