India: Islamic seminary issues ban on coeducation

One of South Asia's most influential Sunni Muslim seminaries has issued a religious edict against coeducation in schools and colleges, claiming it is against Islamic law, an official said Sunday. "Coeducation is against Islam and therefore Muslims should refrain from sending their children, particularly girls, to coeducational schools," Mohammed Asumin Qazmi, an office bearer of the Dar-ul-Uloom Sunni seminary in northern India, told The Associated Press. The religious edict, or fatwa, however, said that boys and girls can study together until they are 10-years-old. "Islam forbids women to meet men, who are not their father or close relatives. Therefore, how can one expect that Islam allows for coeducation," he added.