Sunday, August 31, 2008

Feeding The Islamic War Machine To Spread Jihad

Pakistan Madrass

WNU Editor: Because of Pakistan's failed public education system, many poor Pakistani parents send their children to Islamic Madrassas to receive a basic education. Unfortunately, Islamic extremists have been using these schools to recruit soldiers and suicide bombers for the purpose of spreading jihad.

In the past, these schools have been in the Frontier Regions of Pakistan. But they are now in the heartland of Pakistan. Terrorwonk examines this development, and his comments and observations are worth remembering. (Hat Tip to Counter Terrorism Blog for this story).

Madrassas Extending Into Pakistani Heartlands
-- The Terror Wonk

This short analysis from the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute is well worth a read. It discusses the controversy Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, Asif Zardari set off when, while delivering the keynote address at the 23rd Internationalist Socialist Congress, he described madrassas as propagating Islamist extremism.

Unsurprisingly, Pakistan’s religious leaders condemned him. But reading the report, and these notes from MEMRI’s Urdu-Pashto Blog also indicates that the madrassas have spread from the Northwest Frontier Province into the rest of the country – including the Punjabi heartland. Although Islam is central to Pakistan’s national identity, the traditional practice of Islam was relatively moderate. In fact there have been skirmishes between different factions within the Sunni community (not to mention the bloody Shia-Sunni violence within Pakistan) – particularly in Karachi.

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