The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Madrasas breed terror

After years of learned and not-so-learned comments explaining that the Taliban and Sunni chauvinism in Pakistan - not to mention the 9/11 attacks - were linked to thousands of madrasas that had sprung up in Pakistan, a couple of social scientists at Harvard have put the received wisdom to the test and found that only a small proportion of Pakistani children receive a full-time education in religious schools. They discovered that a far more important trend in education in Pakistan - as in many developing countries - has been the rise of private schools.

The findings of the report, "Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A look at the Data", are a sobering comment on the covering of Islam that has passed for analysis and even policymaking in the US over the past four years.

Mind you, let's not ignore the fact that some people in Pakistan have developed some very violent attitudes not only towards western policies towards Islam, but also towards their Shia countrymen.