By Professor Ali Riaz
Ali Riaz responds to those questions via an in-depth exam of the madraassahs in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. In Faithful Education, he examines those associations and their roles relating to present foreign politics.
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Additional resources for Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia
Chapter 1 Madrassahs l i t t l e k n ow n, m u c h di s c u s s e d Although none of the nineteen hijackers who rammed passenger planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001 came from Islamic educational institutions, media attention turned to madrassahs immediately after the terror attacks. S. media insisted that Islamic religious schools were partly to blame, for they instill hatred in the minds of young people who later become the recruits of terrorist organizations.
Primary and secondary education in parts of the Muslim world is often dominated by an interpretation of Islam that teaches intolerance and hatred. ”3 Rumsfeld’s concerns were echoed by his deputy Paul Wolfowitz in the same week. In a speech at Georgetown University on 30 October 2003, Wolfowitz described madrassahs as “schools that teach hatred, schools that teach terrorism” while providing free, “‘theologically extremist’ teachings to ‘millions’” of Muslim children. S. officials demonstrate that the link between madrassahs and terrorism has become a matter of serious concern for the administration.
This means shutting down the extremist madrassahs, purging the hate-filled textbooks that populate Saudi schools, and putting an end to the extremist Wahhabi preaching that takes place in their mosques. 57 As discussions on the war on terror took the center stage of academic discourse after 9/11, identifying madrassahs with global terror become a common feature. 58 She is, however, not alone; one can easily find dozens of books dealing with terrorism or global security published after 9/11. The preponderance of these works demonstrates that among the five perspectives described earlier, “know your enemy” became the most popular.