November 03, 2004
Chasing the terrorists – in schools and everywhere else

A recent Islamabad news item:

Pakistan's Education Minister Lt Gen (retired) Javed Ashraf Qazi has said that a few of the Madarssahs or religious schools situated near the country's border were involved in terrorist activities.

According to Dawn, Qazi who accompanied the outgoing US ambassador Nancy Powell to a community school in Nirola said that the government was keeping a close watch on the activities of seminaries suspected of being involved in terrorist activities and was contemplating serious action against them.

He further added that the government was seriously trying to streamline the madarssahs into a compact system and had even entered into collaboration with the Wafaqul Madaris in this regard.

"Streamlining of madaris is going on at a good pace and the ministry in collaboration with Wafaqul Madaris is taking every possible measure for timely Madarssah reforms," the report quoted him as saying. (ANI)

As I wonder what I'm going to add to that, I'm watching a BBC4 TV show about Who Runs America (scroll down to the final one), and an FBI terrorist chaser is being interrogated about his work by a bloke from the BBC. Yesterday there was a Presidential Election in which the War on Terrorism was the number one issue.

It may be that all this effort will eventually come to be thought of as a huge overreaction to what was actually a quite minor problem. But that will only happen if there are no more major terrorist successes, and personally I'd settle for that. The FBI guy is talking about this War being "won". But if that happens, it will be because, one day, people realise that hey, we aren't thinking about that Terrorism thing any more. He won't get a big parade. He'll just find his department downgraded, and if he is personally felt to have done well, he will simply find himself assigned to other duties.

Meanwhile, for the time being, the interest that the rest of us have in the nature of Islamic education is going to be about more than just how they teach things like the 3Rs.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 09:12 PM
Category: IslamPolitics