24/01/2016 4:35 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

The Only Hebrew Teacher In An Indian University Is A Muslim

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Hello First Grade greetings in Hebrew (Shalom Kita Alef) on a chalkboard in Israeli primary school at the beginning of the school year.Concept photo of early age education,learning ,studying, teaching

He doesn't mind if his 10-year-old daughter greets him with 'Shalom' instead of 'Assalam Alaikum'.

On Sunday, The Times of India reported on Khurshid Imam, a devout Muslim, who is the only teacher of Hebrew at a university in India.

The professor, who has observed the Sabbath, enjoyed a falafel on the streets of Jerusalem, and hopes for better India-Israeli ties, teaches at Jawaharlal Lal University.

Politicians have exploited religion to create tensions between the followers of the two Abrahamic religions, Imam, 46, told TOI.

Imam, third among six siblings, grew up Gopalganj, Bihar. Scholarships from the Israeli government and a fund dedicated to former Prime Minister Golda Meir supported his education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

But Imam gets his fair share of grief from other Muslims who don't understand his fondness for Hebrew or Israel.

"Many call me 'Mossad agent' among Indian Muslims, a Zionist promoter and some even jokingly call me 'nek Yahudi' (benevolent Jew) because of my passion for Hebrew," he said.

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