Mapping the Madrasa Mindset: Political Attitudes of Pakistani Seminaries

http://www.hindu.com/fline/fl2216/images/20050812001704801.jpg

Muhammad Amir Rana
24-3-2009

Pakistani madaris are perceived as a catalyst factor promoting orthodox views. Many analysts
view that their role in shaping the views of the masses and their students is a serious concern for
many. Their affiliation with political, sectarian and militant organizations is also a major cause of
concern.

Madrasa teachers are a major determinant in shaping views of the students. This study is based
on interviewers of and a survey administered to madrasa teachers. Main purpose of the survey was to determine the political attitudes of the clergy that controls madaris. Their replies vary from sect to sect, area to area and with respect to their political affiliations. Within the sects, variations are very narrow, underlining a near unanimity of responses.

Contrary to the common perception, the survey finds out that 172 out of 251 (62%) madaris
have political affiliations out of which 59 percent are affiliated with religio-political parties and 3
percent with other mainstream parties. At the same time, 18 percent are affiliated with sectarian or jihadi parties. The majority’s political affiliation indicates that madaris are eager to play a prominent political role in the country.

The survey showed that Deobandi and JI madaris are more inclined towards politics as 82% of
Deobandi and 100% of JI madaris have political affiliations. It is understandable about JI madaris that they are under the patronage of a political party but for the deobandi madaris it can be a matter of their tradition. The Barelvies do not focus much on their political tradition. The survey finds out that only 27 percent of the Barelvi madaris have political affiliations including mainstream political parties. Seventy percent of Ahle Hadith and 48 percent of Shia madaris have political affiliations but mostly to safeguard the interests of their schools of thought. Only 20 percent said that it is a religious obligation.

Field researchers found that madaris administration was reluctant to disclose their sectarian
and militant affiliations. Only 18% owned up their affiliation with sectarian outfits. As a matter of
principle, most of the responding madrasas condemned terrorism as an evil. Fifty-seven percent of the madaris, view the war on terrorism as directed exclusively against Islam and Muslims.
One hundred and three out of the 115 madaris oppose the military operation in tribal region.
Thirteen percent of the respondents agreed that Pakistan should be a part of international campaign against terrorism while 77% disagreed. At the same time, 70 percent of Shia madaris consider that Pakistan should not be a part of global campaign against terrorism. Almost half of the 69 Barelvi madaris believe that what is called terrorism is a product of America’s Cold War policies against the Soviet Union. Eleven of the fourteen JI madaris think that War on Terror is designed to target Islam and Muslims. All of the JI favor that Pakistan should not be a part of global campaign against terrorism and oppose the military operations in tribal areas against Taliban. Similar views were found among Ahle-Hadith madaris with a minor difference. Most of the Deobandi madaris suggest that Pakistan should deal with the issue on its own without taking ‘dictation’ from the West. More than 90 per cent of the respondents were clear in their opinion against the suicide attacks inside Pakistan.

The survey shows that 57% of the madaris believe that the presence of foreign troops in
Afghanistan is a main reason behind the suicide attacks in Pakistan and 22% think it is because of Pakistan’s partnership in the war against terrorism.

The survey findings show two facets of the madrasa mind. One, they consider themselves and
their profession as superior to worldly pursuits and, two, they suffer from a siege mentality and think of themselves as targets of a conspiracy by the West and its allies in Pakistan. Majority of the madaris favors democratic process in the country as 73% agreed that democracy is the solution to many issues in the country. Around 90% were in favor of a peaceful solution of the Kashmir problem. Only 9% believe that jihad is a solution to the dispute. Similarly, on Afghanistan issue, only 6% supported the solution through jihad but a majority (82%) linked it with the exclusion of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

(The complete paper is included in PIPS research journal Conflict and Peace Studies, Volume 2,Number-1 Jan-Mar 2009.)

http://san-pips.com/

Jaish madrassa operates in Bahawalpur despite ban

* Former Jaish member says would-be jihadis practice martial arts, archery and horse-riding skills
* Police officer says hard-line madrassas in Bahawalpur recruit teens and young men for jihad in FATA or in Afghanistan

BAHAWALPUR: The compound bore no sign. Residents referred to it simply as the school for “jihadis,” speaking in awe of the expensive horses stabled within its high walls – and the extremists who rode them bareback in the dusty fields around it.

In classrooms nearby, teachers drilled boys as young as eight in an uncompromising brand of Islam that called for holy war against enemies of the faith. Sitting cross-legged on the floor of the Darul Uloom Madina school, they recited verses from the holy Quran.

Both facilities are run by an Al Qaeda-linked terror network, Jaish-e-Muhammed, in the heart of Punjab. Their existence raises questions about the government’s pledge to crack down on terror groups’ accused of high-profile attacks in Pakistan and India.

Jihadis: There, would-be jihadis practice martial arts, archery and horse-riding skills and get religious instruction, according to a former member of Jaish-e-Muhammed, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“You can say Jaish is running its business as usual,” said Amir Rana, from Pakistan’s Institute for Peace Studies, which tracks militant groups. “The military wants to keep alive its strategic options in Kashmir. The trouble is you cannot restrict the militants to one area. You cannot keep control of them.”

Recruit: A top police officer said the madrassas in the area were used to recruit teens and young men for jihad in the NWFP or in Afghanistan. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

A guard wielding an automatic weapon stood at the gate of the Usman-o-Ali school and turned a visiting journalist team away. But the head teacher at nearby Darul uloom Madina allowed the group a tour and an interview.

Attaur Rehman said none of the students were allowed to be recruited for jihad while studying there, but added that he could not stop them joining up after they graduated.

“Pakistani citizens, and especially Punjabis, are the Taliban trainers in the area for bomb-making,” said Asadullah Sherzad, police chief in Afghanistan’s insurgency-wracked Helmand province, adding there are around 100 Punjabis at any one time in that area of Afghanistan.

A police officer in Bahawalpur said Jaish members were not believed to be training with weapons in the town’s schools and other facilities, adding that law enforcement agencies had infiltrated the group. He spoke on condition of anonymity because sections of the government and security agencies disagreed on the need to crack down on the group.

Jaish is believed to have been formed in 2000 by hard-line cleric Masood Azhar after he was freed from an Indian prison in exchange for passengers on a hijacked Indian Airlines flight that landed in southern Afghanistan the same year.

Azhar was born in Bahawalpur, though the government says his current whereabouts are not known. A small stall outside the Usman-o-Ali school sells his speeches and writings. ap (Daily Times, 25 March 2009)

….

مدارس کی نئی سوچ

وسعت اللہ خان

بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، اسلام آباد

مدرسہ(فائل فوٹو)

نو فیصد اساتذہ کا خیال ہے کہ مسئلہ کشمیر جہاد کے بغیر حل نہیں ہو سکتا

پاکستان میں تہتر فیصد مذہبی مدراس کے اساتذہ جمہوریت کے حق میں ہیں اور ان کا خیال ہے کہ جمہوریت کئی قومی مسائل کا حل ہے۔

اسلام آباد کے ایک سرکردہ تحقیقی ادارے پاکستان انسٹی ٹیوٹ فار پیس سٹڈیز ( پائپس) نے ملک کے مختلف علاقوں میں مختلف مکاتبِ فکر کے دو سو اکیاون مدارس کے اساتذہ کی آراء پر مبنی سروے سے یہ نتیجہ اخذ کیا ہے کہ باسٹھ فیصد مدارس کسی نہ کسی مذہبی و سیاسی تنظیم یا گروہ سے وابستہ ہیں جبکہ اٹھارہ فیصد مدارس کا جھکاؤ کسی نہ کسی فرقہ وارانہ یا جہادی تنظیم کی طرف ہے۔

سروے کے مطابق جماعتِ اسلامی کے سو فیصد ، دیوبندی مکتبِ فکر کے بیاسی فیصد ، اہلِ حدیث کے ستر فیصد، اہلِ تشیع کے اڑتالیس فیصد اور بریلوی مکتبِ فکر کے ستائیس فیصد مدارس کا جھکاؤ کسی نہ کسی مذہبی و سیاسی جماعت یا تنظیم کی طرف ہے۔

سروے کے مطابق زیادہ تر مدارس اصولی طور پر دہشت گردی کے رجحانات کی مذمت کرتے ہیں تاہم ستاون فیصد مدارس کے اساتذہ کے خیال میں دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ کا نشانہ اسلام اور مسلمان ہیں۔ تقریباً اسی فیصد مدارس قبائلی علاقوں میں فوجی آپریشن کے خلاف ہیں جبکہ ستتر فیصد مدارس کے خیال میں پاکستان کو دہشت گردی کے خلاف عالمی مہم کا حصہ نہیں بننا چاہیے۔ ان میں شیعہ مدارس کا تناسب ستر فیصد ہے۔

ستاون فیصد مدارس کے خیال میں پاکستان میں خودکش حملوں کا بنیادی سبب افغانستان میں امریکہ سمیت غیرممالک کی فوجی موجودگی ہے جبکہ بائیس فیصد مدارس کے خیال میں خودکش حملوں میں اضافے کا بنیادی سبب دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ میں پاکستان کا کردار ہے۔

تیرہ فیصد مدارس کے خیال میں پاکستان کا عالمی مہم میں شریک ہونا درست ہے۔ پچاس فیصد بریلوی مدارس کے اساتذہ کا خیال ہے کہ دہشت گردی کی موجودہ لہر کے ڈانڈے امریکہ اور سابق سوویت یونین کی سرد جنگ کے زمانے سے ملتے ہیں۔ جماعتِ اسلامی، اہلِ حدیث اور دیوبندی مکتبِ فکر کے مدارس کی بہت بڑی اکثریت کا خیال ہے کہ پاکستان کو دہشت گردی سے نمٹنے کے لیے مغربی دنیا سے ڈکٹیشن لینے کی بجائے اپنی پالیسی آزادانہ طور پر وضع کرنی چاہییے۔

جہاں تک خودکش حملوں کے بڑھتے ہوئے رجحان کا معاملہ ہے تو ستاون فیصد مدارس کے خیال میں پاکستان میں خودکش حملوں کا بنیادی سبب افغانستان میں امریکہ سمیت غیرممالک کی فوجی موجودگی ہے جبکہ بائیس فیصد مدارس کے خیال میں خودکش حملوں میں اضافے کا بنیادی سبب دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ میں پاکستان کا کردار ہے۔

نوے فیصد مدارس مسئلہ کشمیر کا پرامن حل چاہتے ہیں جبکہ نو فیصد مدارس کے اساتذہ کا خیال ہے کہ مسئلہ کشمیر جہاد کے بغیر حل نہیں ہوسکتا۔ بیاسی فیصد مدارس کا خیال ہے کہ اگر غیرملکی فوج افغانستان چھوڑ دے تو مسئلہ کا پرامن حل ممکن ہے۔جبکہ چھ فیصد مدارس کے خیال میں افغان مسئلے کا علاج مسلح جہاد ہے۔

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2009/03/090324_madarsa_wusat_zs.shtml

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