Following are excerpts
from a TV report on religious schools in Pakistan, which aired on Al-Arabiya
TV on July 9, 2010:
religious school, known as madrasa in the local language of these
parts, is defined by Pakistani law as a place where religious knowledge
is imparted, and where students receive board and lodging. In this they
differ from the study chambers within the mosques, found in almost every
one of Pakistan’s mosques, about which there are no precise statistics.
Pakistan is considered
to be one of the Islamic countries with the largest number of religious
schools – with an estimated 20,000 religious schools in the country’s
The Jamia Haqqania in
the city of Akora Khattak, in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region, is one
of the most renowned Pakistani schools. Tens of thousands of Afghan
students studied at this school, and many of them later joined the resistance
to the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. They assumed prominent positions
in the so-called Afghan mujahideen groups and the Afghan Taliban
movement. These include Maulvi Yunis Khalis and Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani
– who has the same name as this school – and last but not least,
Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban movement. Some
people consider Maulvi Sami-ul-Haqq to be the spiritual father of the
Afghan Taliban movement.
of Jamia Haqqania: Thousands of ulama have graduated from
here, and none have been arrested for violent acts or involvement in
suicide attacks. It is US policy that has produced terrorists. Among
the 40 most wanted people worldwide, you will not find a single religious
scholar. They are all engineers, geographers, or doctors. Take, for
example, Osama Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, and their ilk. Most of them studied
in Europe. The policies and tyranny of the West are what gave rise to
them. None of them graduated from religious schools. They just want
to cast a slur on these schools.
I suggest that they shut
down the Oxford and Cambridge universities instead, because it is from
them that people like this emerge.
A common mistake is to
separate politics and religion. Islam is a comprehensive religion, which
encompasses everything. It doesn’t separate religion and politics.
That is a Western concept. According to the West, the best politician
is the one who is best at lying and deceiving. This runs counter to
The hadith says:
“The Prophets of the Israelites guided them.” Therefore, as religious
scholars, we must engage in politics to implement religion. Religious
scholars must engage in politics in order to preserve the country’s
identity. We do not impose religion upon any human being. What we want
is to reform the regime through the parliament, and to implement justice
and the shari’a.