The concept of Hafiz-e-Quran students receiving extra marks in university admissions has been challenged by Pakistan’s Supreme Court (SC).
According to Samaa News, the objection was raised by senior SC judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa during the hearing of a petition pertaining to admission to a medical university in Karachi.
After being denied admission to a university, a student at Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences in Quetta petitioned the Supreme Court. In his opening remarks, the petitioner’s counsel stated that his client could have easily gotten admission on merit if he had been given a 20% bonus for being a Hafiz-e-Quran.
The petition is based on a 1987 law that grants Hafiz-e-Quran students 20% extra marks at every level after matriculation.
“How is admission to medical and other colleges related to being a hafiz-e-Quran?” “Why should 20 points be deducted on this basis?” Justice Isa asked a question.
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“Memorizing the Quran is sacred to us.” “And it’s a plus if you want to be an imam of a mosque or a religious lecturer,” he said, adding, “but how can a hafiz-e-Quran be a better doctor?”
The petitioner argued that the court should avoid delving into the complexities of the case, to which Justice Isa responded, “Why are you afraid of Islam?” Religion is supposed to make our lives easier.”
“This is a serious matter. “After discussion, a decision can be reached,” he concluded.
The Supreme Court then decided to hold a separate hearing to discuss the issue and postponed the hearing until a later date. It also served notices on all respondents, including the university in question and the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).