Report on State of Madressas in Pakistan
Report on state of madressahs in Pakistan launched
KARACHI: A report outlining reasons behind cultivation of a culture of intolerance in madressahs and phenomenal rise in their numbers, especially since Gen Ziaul Haq’s military dictatorship, was launched here on Thursday.
Eminent historian Dr Mubarak Ali spoke on the contents of the report through Skype from Lahore while two teachers from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) formed a panel to share their views on the report which was launched at the office of the Now-communities.
Titled ‘The Madrasa Conundrum — The state of religious education in Pakistan’, the report was authored by Umair Khalil, lead researcher of the non-governmental research organisation, HIVE.
The panellists agreed that though the report did not answer all questions about the issue but it did raise several questions, which needed to be answered through further investigations and research.
Dr Ali spoke about the history of madressahs and said they were inherently sectarian in their nature from the outset. He saw economic and social disparity as the root cause of the problem and called for a uniform educational policy, which, according to him was the only panacea for settling the problem.
Dr Riaz Shaikh said the report showed that students of cadet colleges after the madressah students were prone to intolerance, which was a result of the curriculum chosen to develop their mindset in accordance with the aspirations of the ruling establishment.
Dr Tayyaba Tamim said that madressahs were nurturing a mindset which was inherently intolerant towards other sects and faiths.
The report said the number of madressahs in the country had crossed 35,000 from fewer than 300 since the inception of Pakistan.
However, she said, their numbers saw phenomenal rise after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during Gen Zia’s regime. “After 11 years of Zia’s rule, the madressah total ballooned to 2,801 with Deobandis accounting for 64 per cent of the total and the Barelvis only 25pc,” said the report.
It said after the downfall of the Zia regime, the state continued to have an interest in supporting a particular religious group to play a role in the ongoing proxy war with India for Kashmir.
The increase in the number of madressahs between 1988 and 2002 showed a significant rise in Deobandi seminaries, which increased from 1,779 to 7,000.
The Barelvi seminaries rose from 717 to 1,585, Ahle Hadith from 161 to 376, Shia from 47 to 419 and Jamaat-i-Islami’s seminaries from 97 to 500. The total madressahs in 1988 were 2,801, which shot up to 9,880 in 2002.
The report refers to various sources about the number of students enrolled with the madressahs. One report claims that some 3.5 million students were enrolled with 35,337 madressahs in Pakistan while another quotes the Auqaf authorities as saying the number of students was 26,131.
Conflicting official figures put the number of madressahs in Punjab at between 14,000 and 16,000. Similarly, the ministry of religious affairs says there are 7,118 madressahs in Sindh, while the provincial Auqaf department puts their number at a modest 2,800.
In Balochistan, the number ranges between 2,704 and a whopping 13,000 while in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the official figures are between 1,354 and 3,136.
The report also discusses some surveys conducted by researchers. One such survey published in a book by C. Christine Fair claims madressahs are not the most prominent recruitment venue for militancy; indeed fewer than a quarter of the militants (33 of 141) ever attended theological schools.
Of those 33 madressah products, 27 attended a madressah for four or fewer years, and most also attended public schools. In contrast, the remaining 82 were well educated by Pakistani standards, with at least a matriculation qualification. Only nine of the 141 had no formal education. The militants in that sample were better educated than the average Pakistani male.
Another survey by Tariq Rahman says the madressah students were the most intolerant of all the other student groups in Pakistan.
The survey asked the same set of questions from diverse groups that included students of madressahs, Urdu-medium schools, English-medium schools, cadet colleges and public schools, government colleges, public universities and private universities.
The primary finding of the survey was that madressah students were more likely to back war and militant conflict and less inclined to support equal rights for members of the oppressed groups than their counterparts in secular schools.
The report also discussed the issues of economic integration of madressah students, registration, regulations and reforms and gave some recommendations.
Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2015
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[Report showed that students of cadet colleges were also prone to intolerance, which was a result of the curriculum chosen to develop their mindset in accordance with the aspirations of the ruling establishment.[Paraphrased]]
Can some anti army zealot elaborate on the cadet colleges? My impression of these and other boarding school graduates was of Westernized arrogant liberals?
Your impression is not way off. Generally speaking cadet college students are from affluent families with somewhat western exposure. But most of them toe Army's line. And when army nurtured these seminaries it's not surprising many of cadet college students wear sectarian glasses. I remember back in university I had heated discussions with some Kohatians who tried to convince me that Shias are indeed infidels.
Despite Zindadil's Saab idealist reservations and curiosity bhai's tangible suspicions I believe yesterday's event of eliminating Lashkar e Jhanvi leadership in fake encounter is huge step in right direction. If present trend continues we may see harmony between Shias and Sunnis.
"Statistics are like mini skirts what they reveal is suggestive what they conceal is important.”
Rise in Muslim seminaries from 1988 to 2002*:
Shia ---- : 791%
Jamaat I : 415%
Barelvi --: 121%
*A community size to starting seminary ratio would have been a fair assessment of increase.
Pakistan population growth: 43%
Report failed to mention the changes in:
-NGO Aunties “Seminaries"
-Cadet College “Seminaries”
I am sure in all of the above categories the increase is way more than the population growth. Shouldn’t that translate to a higher literacy rate?
Higher literacy as if religious seminaries are educating kids. What kind of job can graduates of such seminaries get - imam in some mosque or if they are lucky teaching Islamiyat in some school?
What a twist you have put on numbers!
Let's look at reality, don't create a false impression by focussing on percentage increase.
Extract from the newspaper!
"The increase in the number of madressahs between 1988 and 2002 showed a significant rise in Deobandi seminaries, which increased from 1,779 to 7,000.**
**The Barelvi seminaries rose from 717 to 1,585, Ahle Hadith from 161 to 376, Shia from 47 to 419 and Jamaat-i-Islami’s seminaries from 97 to 500. The total madressahs in 1988 were 2,801, which shot up to 9,880 in 2002."
Deobandi from 1,779 to 7,000 - increase of 5,221
Barelvi from 717 to 1,585 - increase of 868
Ahle Hadith from 161 to 376 - increase 215
Shia from 47 to 419 - increase of 372
Jamaat-i-Islami’s seminaries from 97 to 500 - increase of 423
The 2002 proportions out of total seminaries were
Able Hadith 3.8%,
Shia 4.2% and
respectively for the above five groups.
Do we have seminaries for those 5 school of thoughts in same proportions in the population?
Numbers can be twisted which ever way you want but almost 800% rise in Shia seminaries, from 47 to 419, shows the spillover effects of theocratic regime in neighboring Iran.
Just a reminder, Revolution in Iran happened in 1979 not 1988 or there about.
There are about 20% Shia Muslims in Pakistion with only 4.2 % madressas focused for their school of thought. That is about 400 madressas for 40 Million people. They should have more, specially because most of them prepare their students for STEM.
Are you sure 20% I thought barely 6-8%
Please go to Library of congress, page xxii in the pdf file at the link below.
Religion: About 97 percent of Pakistanis are Muslim, 77 percent of whom are Sunni and 20 percent Shia; remaining 3 percent of population divided equally among Christian, Hindu, and other religions.
I tend to agree with the feeling of Shirazi Ji (exclude the Northern Area in these number). Shia population in Pakistan is estimated between 5% and 20%. Since there is no sect category on NIC or census data [good thing happens sometimes], most estimates take the common name such as Abbas, Ali, Hasan, Hussain, Jafery, Jaffer, Naqvi, Raza, Rizvi, Qazmi, Sayyed and Zaidi as Shia. (That makes 30% of my social circle as Shia). The city Shias are educated, highly skilled professionals, enjoy high posts in the corporate and government, the perception of presence index is very high. Due to the facts that Shias have traditionally been very vocal on their issues and with the added exposure of yearly Ashura events, Shia impact is felt way higher than the actual demography.
This demographic perception and impact phenomena is similar to the Jewish population in the USA. Jews are mere 1.8% of the population but they are felt at around 15%.
Smart people put their feelings aside when they are faced with an authentic report in Library of Congress.
anjaan last edited by
Only dim-witted people believe everything in the Imperial Powers' Propaganda!!!