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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