Madrasas in South Asia: Teaching Terror?

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Jamal Malik
Routhledge, 2008 - Political Science - 190 pages
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After 9/11, madrasas have been linked to international terrorism. They are suspected to foster anti-western, traditionalist or even fundamentalist views and to train al-Qaeda fighters. This has led to misconceptions on madrasa-education in general and its role in South Asia in particular. Government policies to modernize and ‘pacify’ madrasas have been precipitous and mostly inadequate.

This book discusses the educational system of madrasas in South Asia. It gives a contextual account of different facets of madrasa education from historical, anthropological, theological, political and religious studies perspectives. Some contributions offer recommendations on possible – and necessary – reforms of religious educational institutions. It also explores the roots of militancy and sectarianism in Pakistan, as well as its global context.

Overall, the book tries to correct misperceptions on the role of madrasas, by providing a more balanced discussion, which denies neither the shortcomings of religious educational institutions in South Asia nor their important contributions to mass education.

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About the author (2008)

Jamal Malik is Chair of Religious Studies - Islamic Studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany. His publications include The Colonization of Islam and Islamische Gelehrtenkultur in Nordindien. He edited Perspectives of Mutual Encounters in South Asian History 1760-1860; Muslims in Europe: From the Margin to the Centre; and co-edited Religious Pluralism in South Asia and Europe; Sufism in the West (also published by Routledge) and Religion und Medien. Vom Kultbild zum Internetritual (2007).

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