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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

June 06, 2003

The Institution called "Madrassah"

An examination of Madrassah education and how it differs from an American Islamic education
The Institution called "Madrassah" has drawn attention worldwide in recent days. Specifically, after the capture of power in Afghanistan by the Madrassah graduates and teachers, the western media focused more on "Madrassahs" throughout the world. Some of the programs I watched in television on the Madrassah education in Pakistan and Afghanistan appeared to me very credible. The teachings were fully based on the primitive scriptures originated in Mecca and Medina about fourteen hundred years ago. In those programs, a few of the Madrassah teachers and students were interviewed. They were asked about their academic subjects and views about the non-Muslims based on their learning from the primitive books. The answers to the questions were mostly hateful. For example, they think that the non-Muslims must be converted to Muslims by applying force, if necessary. They also think that the whole world should be under Sharia law. The implication of Sharia Laws in a society is barbaric to say the least. The abhorring rules of stoning to death, forcing women to wear burqah/veil (mobile prison), killing opponents (calling them by such name as Murtads), etc., are but a few of the barbaric rules of Sharia. All these Sharia Laws based on Quran and Hadiths are the areas of focus in Madrassah education. They read, memorize, and believe in the myths of Quran. Arabic language is taught for them to understand the essence of both Quran and Hadiths.
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One may investigate the Madrassah education now and will find that this education system has not been improved/changed/modified at all. While I went to Bangladesh in 1997, I happened to have some conversation with a Madrassah student. I asked him about the subjects they were taught. As expected and anticipated by me, he said that the subjects were only Quran and Hadiths. These are taught in different years of their Madrassah education. Different types of Tafsirs (interpretation) of Quran and different chapters of Hadiths are taught during their stay in Madrassah. They are not taught about subjects such as economics, science, etc. They don't know about modern economics, cost -benefit analysis, internal rate of return, etc. based on interest. According to their views derived from Sharia, these are haram (forbidden). In fact, the subject "Economics" will be totally considered Haram by some of the fanatic Madrassah-educationists.

Considering all the deficiencies in Madrassah education, it's really alarming to know that the present Bangladesh government has decided to allow Madrassah graduates to join the civil service.

One should not mix up American Islamic schools with Madrassahs. In American Islamic schools, the students are taught science, mathematics, social studies, and literature. These students have to go through state and national examinations if they want to go to better colleges and universities. The curriculum in the Islamic schools in USA is not based on Hadith and Qur'an. The criminal nature of the modern-day Madrassah students will be exposed once any government decides to reform. I strongly believe that the graduates of Madrassahs learning only Qur'an and Hadiths should not be included in the Bangladesh Civil Service. This is an ill-conceived idea, which should be opposed by all decent Bangladeshi folks [more]