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Inside Jihad U.

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    Inside Jihad U.

    Yesterday’s Sunday NYTimes magazine featured an article by Goldberg. He goes to Peshawar and lives in a Madrassa (Haqania Madrassa) for a week to learn about how Madrassas have contributed to the corps of Jihadis fighting in various wars.

    The article was titled “Inside Jihad U.”. He interviews the chancellor of the Madrassa, whose views are very anti-Semitic and he blames Jews for all the ills in the world (knowing that the writer of the article was a Jew), but he welcomes him nonetheless.

    There are at least 10,000 Madrassas in Pakistan, mostly in the NWFP and a few scattered over other provinces. They enroll boys as young as 5. The first 3 years at the Madrassa are spent on memorizing Quran and later courses cover Hadith, and finally Shariah Laws. The Madrassas run on charitable contributions by rich Pakistanis and by some foreigners (mostly from Saudi Arabia).

    Most youngsters the writer spoke with indicated that Osama is their Hero and US is evil. They also believed that in USA, everyone has boyfriend and girlfriend and everyone is homosexual and bisexual. Having said that the Writer says that it did not stop many older students to offer to have sex with him.

    He says that the Haqania Madrassa is very resourceful and one of its Alumni is Mullah Omar, the leader of Taliban. Most students graduating from there end up in the Army of Taliban and some fight in Kashmir and as far away places as Chechnya.

    The writer also interviewed Gen. Musharaf, and Gen’s views on Madrassas could be described as “mixed”, as it didn’t appear from the article whether he was opposed to it, or in agreement with such places. When confronted about “what if the graduating cadre sets up similar fate to Pakistanis as it has to Afghanistan?”, the Gen’s reply was “we are keeping a close watch on the situation, and stability of Pakistan is of our preeminent concern”.