Archive for category Islamic Studies

Madrassas and Militancy

unnamedBy Mumtaz Ahmad Published: February 15, 2015

The tragedy of Peshawar that resulted in the death of students of the Army Public School has once again brought the issue of madrassa reforms into sharp focus. The National Action Plan, announced by the prime minister to combat extremism and terrorism in the country, makes two points about madrassas: to register and regulate them and to introduce curriculum reform. While very few people will disagree with the first point — the imperative need for the registration of madrassas and transparency of their funding sources — we are not quite sure about the causal relationships between madrassa curriculum on the one hand and extremism and terrorism, on the other.

The debate on madrassa curriculum before the 9/11 attacks focused mainly on issues of pedagogy — its intellectual orientation; the structure of its content; methodology of teaching; and the relevance of the madrassa curriculum to the educational needs of a modern Muslim society. Most critics of madrassa education contended that madrassa curriculum was outdated, narrowly focused on issues of fiqh and its most literalist interpretations, and based on religio-intellectual formulations and controversies that are no longer relevant.
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Islamic Education in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Trends in Tertiary Institutions

Islamic-Education-in-Pak-&-Bangladesh-1The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution dedicated to informing and strengthening policy in the Asia-Pacific. NBR’s operations are governed by the Board of Directors, a nationally prominent group of leaders with long-term interests in the Asia-Pacific region. NBR’s research agenda is developed in consultation with the Board of Advisors, which consists of experts from research centers, universities, corporations, and Congress. Funding for NBR’s research and publications comes from foundations, corporations, individuals, the U.S. Government, and from NBR itself.

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State of Islamic Studies in American Universities

15248Research Projects on State of Islamic Studies in American Universities

The following documents and reports are part of a comprehensive study of the state of Islamic Studies in American universities undertaken by IIIT and the Center for Islam and Public Policy (CIPP) between the years 2004 and 2007. The study traces the historical roots of Islamic studies in American universities, examine their current state with a focus on four major programs, present and analyze the theoretical frameworks and methodologies of approaching the study of Islam and Muslim world affairs and collect and disseminate data on the major academic programs for the study of Islam and Muslim world affairs in American universities.

Executive Summary

Policy Recommendations

Book: Observing the Observer: The State of Islamic Studies in American Universities

Case Studies: Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

IIIT Roundtable on Islamic Studies in American Universities


[This is the ninth in a series of my notes on the International Institute of Islamic Thought conference on iftaa and fatwa held in Herndon, VA. These notes are raw material for an edited report I will write on the conference and represents my perception of the discussion. The proceedings will be published by IIIT at a later time. The Minaret of Freedom Institute thanks IIIT for the grant that makes the publication of these notes possible. Responsibility for any errors in the notes is mine alone.]
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