From Wired, comes an article on the adoption of computers in Madrasas in Lahore. A couple of weeks ago, Boston Globe ran an article that also tackled the modernization of syllabus in Deobandi madrasas in India. Both of these articles point towards external and internal reform pressures on the madrasa system. The impression is that the madrasas teach nothing besides the rote memorization of the Qur’an (picture boys in caps on floor swaying back and forth). The further implication is that the madrasa system in Pakistan is a breeding ground of terror and extremism. Hence, reform must come by reforming the curriculum of these schools.
What would be an acclaimed blood line in the US? A source of pride and embellishment? Bushes? Kennedys? Rockafellers? There is, at least in the north-east, an interest in tracing one’s lineage back to, say, the Mayflower. The true blue blood bestows a degree of respectability over the individual. Our President’s clan came on the upper deck of Mayflower, the story goes. The fact that most people on the Mayflower were weavers, fishermen and farmers translates into direct lineage of the Earls and Dukes nowadays. There are other sources of geneological pride. Regional history is often a source.
In the Islamic world, there is one supreme blood line: the blood line of the Prophet’s tribe, the Quraish. The descendants of this tribe affix the honorarium “Sayyid” in front of their names. The designation affords them instant respect and, in olden days, even government stipends. As evident, the “true” descendants have to battle the false claimants by drawing out and keeping handy their complete geneological chart. Pretenders are scorned in private and gossiped about in public.
Continue reading “On Clans and Communities”
I had no idea that Pakistan was important BEFORE Sep 11, 2001. Listen to Rice’s testimony: “America’s Al Qaida policy wasn’t working because our Afghanistan policy wasn’t working, and our Afghanistan policy wasn’t working because our Pakistan policy wasn’t working.” In fact Pakistan was mentioned 27 times by Rice, while Iraq only got 26 shout-outs. so there.
In fact, the WTC in ’93, the embassy bombings in Kenya, the Cole attack in the Persian Gulf, the Khartoum fiasco, it all did NOT result in a comprehensive Al Qaida strategy because America had shoved Pakistan under the rug since 1989.
I am becoming a big fan of the various domino scenarios the administration brings out. Pakistan / Afghanistan / Taliban or Iraq / Syria / Iran / restofthemiddleeast.
States capitulate and change course because the comprehensive game plan of the administration leaves them no recourse. When is Iraq inviting Syria and Iran for democracy sleep-overs?
and welcome to chapatimystery.com