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David Lark
David Lark

Rg Madrassa Yukle REPACK

At present, there is a significant lack of understanding among policymakers and the wider public about madrassas. Very little of what features in public debates has been generated through rigorous research. The main source of public information stems from the media.

Rg Madrassa Yukle


This report attempts to fill to gaps by providing new evidence about how British madrassas work, the impact they have on local communities, and their role in the educational, social and religious development of children.

Madrassas of Pakistan are Islamic seminaries in Pakistan, known in Urdu as Madaris-e-Deeniya (literally: religious schools).Most madrassas teach mostly Islamic subjects such as tafseer (interpretation of the Quran), hadith (thousands of sayings of Muhammad), fiqh (Islamic law) and Arabic (the language of the Quran);[1] but include some non-Islamic subjects (such as logic, philosophy, mathematics), which enable students to understand the religious ones.[1]The number of madrassas grew dramatically during and since the rule of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. They are especially popular among Pakistan's poorest families, in part because they feed and house their students.[2] Estimates of the number of madrasas vary between 12,000 and 40,000.[3][4] In some areas of Pakistan they outnumber the underfunded public schools.[2]

For the majority of Pakistani families, madrassas may provide "the only realistic option" to educate their sons,[1] but critics have complained that many madrassas offer almost no instruction beyond the memorizing of the Quran, and that they encourage extremism, as analysis of the profiles of suicide bombers who have struck in at least one region of Pakistan have found most attended madrasas.[2]

Conditions in madrassas were "regularly condemned by human rights agencies" as "crowded and undisciplined" according to Gilles Kepel.[7] A 1996 report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, for example, complained of students being held "in chains".[8][7]

After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, American television commentators widely associated madrassas with violence or fundamentalism. Former Pakistani president Gen. Musharraf tried to introduce an element of nominal control as an overture to American pressure, which have by and large been considered a failure.

According to The News International, in 1947 there were only 189 madrassas in Pakistan but "over 40,000" by 2008.[3][4]According to David Commins book, The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia, their number grew from around 900 in 1971 to over 8,000 official ones and another 25,000 unofficial ones in 1988.[11]In 2002 the country had 10,000-13,000 unregistered madrassas with an estimated 1.7 to 1.9 million students, according to Christopher Candland.[12] According to the New York Times, as of 2009 there more than 12,000 registered madrasas and more unregistered ones in Pakistan. In some areas of Pakistan they outnumber the underfunded public schools.[2]

In terms of religious doctrine, many of the madrasas are funded by Saudis groups and combine Deobandi ideology with "Wahhabism as reflected in the education imparted to students in Saudi Arabia government." Critics complain on intolerance in teachings as reflected in the line that "Muslim pupils in radical madrassas chant at the morning assembly: 'When people deny our faith, ask them to convert and if they don't destroy them utterly.'"[1] Other Saudi madrassas, particularly schools in Afghan refugee camps, may provide an interpretation of Islam that "blends Pushtun ideals and Deobandi views, precisely the hallmark of the Taliban."[11] The vast expansion of madrasas during the 1980s meant a shortage of qualified teachers such that "quite a few teachers did not discern between tribal values of their ethnic group, the Pushtuns and the religious ideals."[11]

The madrassas have been called "the only realistic option" for the majority of Pakistani families to provide education for their sons.[1] Another source (Sadakat Kadri) has stated that "absent an educational Marshall Plan, the hope of educating a literate breadwinner is about as bright a future as millions of families will ever get," and that the schools offer "shelter from the social storm ... camaraderie instead of chaos," for lower middle class Pakistanis.[16]In some areas of Pakistan they outnumber the underfunded public schools.[2]

A 2008 US diplomatic cable expressed alarm that Saudi Arabian-financed madrassas were fostering "religious radicalism" in "previously moderate regions of Pakistan"[17] as children from impoverished families were sent to isolated madrassas, and once there often recruited for "martyrdom operations".

There are almost 2,000 registered Islamic religious schools for girls, educating almost a quarter of a million young women and providing more than half of the candidates sitting graduate-level exams every year. Oxford academic, Dr Masooda Bano has said that the madrassas gave women economic and social opportunities.[21][22]

The tens of thousands of pupils and graduates of Deobandi madrassas gave that school of Islam the ability to "intervene directly" in Pakistani political life and "to contest everything that appeared to compromise their view of the Islamic world order," according to political scientist Gilles Kepel.[23]

After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the US government encouraged former Pakistani president Gen. Musharraf to do something about Madrassas. Musharraf tried to introduce an element of nominal control.[24] Two laws were passed: one to create state-controlled madrassas (model: Dini Madaris, 2001); the other to register and control them (2002). The first had moderate success, as some religious institutions registered in 2003 with the Pakistan Madrasah Education Board created by this law. However, the three alternative institutions it created suffer from organizational difficulties. The second measure proved unpopular with the madrassas, but the government has restricted some access of foreign students to the madaris education system. 041b061a72


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