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After 9/11, madrasas have been linked to international terrorism. They are suspected to foster anti-western, traditionalist or even fundamentalist views and to train al-Qaeda fighters. This has led to misconceptions on madrasa-education in general and its role in South Asia in particular. Government policies to modernize and ‘pacify’ madrasas have been precipitous and mostly inadequate. This book discusses the educational system of madrasas in South Asia. It gives a contextual account of different facets of madrasa education from historical, anthropological, theological, political and religious studies perspectives. Some contributions offer recommendations on possible – and necessary – reforms of religious educational institutions. It also explores the roots of militancy and sectarianism in Pakistan, as well as its global context. Overall, the book tries to correct misperceptions on the role of madrasas, by providing a more balanced discussion, which denies neither the shortcomings of religious educational institutions in South Asia nor their important contributions to mass education.
The revival of madrasas in the 1980s coincided with the rise of political Islam and soon became associated with the "clash of civilizations" between Islam and the West. This volume examines the rapid expansion of madrasas across Asia and the Middle East and analyses their role in society within their local, national and global context. Based on anthropological investigations in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, and Pakistan, the chapters take a new approach to the issue, examining the recent phenomenon of women in madrasas; Hui Muslims in China; relations between the Iran’s Shia seminary after the 1979-Islamic revolution and Shia in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and South Asian madrasas. Emphasis is placed on the increased presence of women in these institutions, and the reciprocal interactions between secular and religious schools in those countries. Taking into account social, political and demographic changes within the region, the authors show how madrasas have been successful in responding to the educational demand of the people and how they have been modernized their style to cope with a changing environment. A timely contribution to a subject with great international appeal, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of international politics, political Islam, Middle East and Asian studies and anthropology.
Islamic South Asia has become a focal point in academia. Where did Muslims come from? How did they fare in interacting with Hindu cultures? How did they negotiate identity as ruling and ruled minorities and majorities? Part I covers early Muslim expansion and the formative phase in context of initial cultural encounter (app. 700-1300). Part II views the establishment of Muslim empire, cultures oscillating between Islamic and Islamicate, centralised and regionalised power (app. 1300-1700). Part III is composed in the backdrop of regional centralisation, territoriality and colonial rule, displaying processes of integration and differentiation of Muslim cultures in colonial setting (app. 1700-1930). Tensions between Muslim pluralism and singularity evolving in public sphere make up the fourth cluster (app. 1930-2002).
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, discussions on ties between Islamic religious education institutions, namely madrassahs, and transnational terrorist groups have featured prominently in the Western media. In the frenzied coverage of events, however, vital questions have been overlooked: What do we know about the madrassahs? Should Western policy-makers be alarmed by the recent increase in the number of these institutions in Muslim countries? Is there any connection between them and the “global jihad”? Ali Riaz responds to these questions through an in-depth examination of the madrassahs in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. The first book to examine these institutions and their roles in relation to current international politics, Faithful Education will be of interest to policy-makers, researchers, political analysts, and media-pundits. It will also be important reading for undergraduate and graduate students of political science, international affairs, history, South Asian studies, religious studies, and journalism.
Despite late reconsideration, a dominant paradigm rooted in Orientalist essentialisations of Islam as statically legalistic and Muslims as uniformly transgressive when local customs are engaged, continues to distort perspectives of South Asia's past and present. This has led to misrepresentations of pre-colonial Muslim norms and undue emphasis on colonial reforms alone when charting the course to post-coloniality. This book presents and challenges staple perspectives with a comprehensive reinterpretation of doctrinal sources, literary expressions and colonial records spanning the period from the reign of the 'Great Mughals' to end of the 'British Raj' (1526-1947). The result is an alternative vision of this transformative period in South Asian history, and an original paradigm of Islamic doctrine and Muslim practice applicable more broadly.
Conbtributed articles.
Since the Taliban seized Kabul in 1996, the public has grappled with the relationship between Islamic education and radical Islam. Media reports tend to paint madrasas--religious schools dedicated to Islamic learning--as medieval institutions opposed to all that is Western and as breeding grounds for terrorists. Others have claimed that without reforms, Islam and the West are doomed to a clash of civilizations. Robert Hefner and Muhammad Qasim Zaman bring together eleven internationally renowned scholars to examine the varieties of modern Muslim education and their implications for national and global politics. The contributors provide new insights into Muslim culture and politics in countries as different as Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. They demonstrate that Islamic education is neither timelessly traditional nor medieval, but rather complex, evolving, and diverse in its institutions and practices. They reveal that a struggle for hearts and minds in Muslim lands started long before the Western media discovered madrasas, and that Islamic schools remain on its front line. Schooling Islam is the most comprehensive work available in any language on madrasas and Islamic education.
Taking us inside the world of the madrasa--the most common type of school for religious instruction in the Islamic world--Ebrahim Moosa provides an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand orthodox Islam in global affairs. Focusing on postsecondary-level religious institutions in the Indo-Pakistan heartlands, Moosa explains how a madrasa can simultaneously be a place of learning revered by many and an institution feared by many others, especially in a post-9/11 world. Drawing on his own years as a madrasa student in India, Moosa describes in fascinating detail the daily routine for teachers and students today. He shows how classical theological, legal, and Qur'anic texts are taught, and he illuminates the history of ideas and politics behind the madrasa system. Addressing the contemporary political scene in a clear-eyed manner, Moosa introduces us to madrasa leaders who hold diverse and conflicting perspectives on the place of religion in society. Some admit that they face intractable problems and challenges, including militancy; others, Moosa says, hide their heads in the sand and fail to address the crucial issues of the day. Offering practical suggestions to both madrasa leaders and U.S. policymakers for reform and understanding, Moosa demonstrates how madrasas today still embody the highest aspirations and deeply felt needs of traditional Muslims.
The articles in this volume build up ethnographic analysis complementary to the historiography of South Asian Islam, which has explored the emergence of reformism in the context of specific political and religious circumstances of nineteenth-century British India. Taking up diverse popular and scholarly debates as well as everyday religious practices, this volume also breaks away from the dominant trend of mainstream ethnographic work, which celebrates Sufi-inspired forms of Islam as tolerant, plural, authentic and so on, pitted against a 'reformist' Islam. Urging a more nuanced examination of all forms of reformism and their reception in practice, the contributions here powerfully demonstrate the historical and geographical specificities of reform projects. In doing so, they challenge prevailing perspectives in which substantially different traditions of reform are lumped together into one reified category (often carelessly shorthanded as 'wah'habism') and branded as extremist – if not altogether demonised as terrorist.
With reference to Indo-Nepal border districts of India.
""Explores various Shi'i communities across South Asia, revealing the many forms of Shi'i religion within this important region, and examining the responses of these communities to the many transformations of the modern world"--Provided by publisher"--
A state-of-the-art, one-stop resource, Public Administration in South Asia: India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan examines public administration issues and advances in the Indian subcontinent. The book fulfills a critical need. These nations have the largest public administration programs in South Asia, yet existing knowledge on them is fragmented at best. Bringing together leading scholars from these countries, this book provides both an insider perspective and a scholarly look at the challenges and accomplishments in the region. Focusing on the machinery of government, the book explores questions such as: What is the history of public administration development? How are major decisions made in the agencies? Why are anti-corruption efforts so much a challenge? What is the significance of intergovernmental relations? What is the success of administrative reform? What are examples of successful social development programs? How successful is e-government, and what are its challenges? Why is civil service reform difficult to achieve? How is freedom of information being used as a means to combat corruption and invoke grassroots activism? What can be learned from the successes and failures? While public administration practice and education have become considerably professionalized in the last decade, a sufficiently in-depth and well-rounded reference on public administration in these countries is sorely lacking. Most available books tackle only aspects of public administration such as administrative reforms, civil service, economic developments, or public policy, and are country specific. None provide the in-depth analysis of the sphere of public action in South Asia found in this book. It supplies an understanding of how public administration can be either the source of, or solution to, so many of the problems and achievements in the Indian subcontinent.
Annotation. In the aftermath of 9/11 Islamic seminaries or madrasas received much media attention in India, mostly owing to the alleged link between madrasa education and forms of violence. Yet, while ample information on madrasas for boys is available, similar institutions of Islamic learning for girls have for the greater part escaped public attention so far. This study investigates how madrasas for girls emerged in India, how they differ from madrasas for boys, and how female students come to interpret Islam through the teachings they receive in these schools. Observations suggest that, next to the official curriculum, the 'informal' curriculum plays an equally important role. It serves the madrasa's broader aim of bringing about a complete reform of the students' morality and to determine their actions accordingly. This title can be previewed in Google Books - http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN9789053569078. This title is available in the OAPEN Library - http://www.oapen.org.
Two of the more important developments in world history over the past two centuries have been the expansion of Western power and the revival of Islam. South Asia has played a central role in both processes, being the main focus of the imperialism of the British and an important site of the Muslim revival. These essays, which were written over the past ten years, confront some of the key issues raised by some modern developments in South Asia: the interactions between British power and Muslim revivalism in giving shape to the modern Muslim world; the role of knowledge in fashioning Muslim societies and the rise of the `ulama, to greater influence than ever before. It also explores the great shift from an other-worldly to a this-worldly piety amongst Muslims, the energy this has given the Muslim revival, and its meaning for relations between Islam and the West. The essays are rounded off by reviews of major contributions to the field over the period. Among the themes which emerge are: the influence both of orientalism and of Hindu revivalism on the world of scholarship, and the fact that the world is a better place when we remember the humanity we share. This book offers profound insights to those wishing to understand the background to the interactions of Islam, South Asia and the West in our time.
South Asia is today the region inhabited by the largest number of Muslims---roughly 500 million. In the course of the Islamisation process, which begaun in the eighth century, it developed a distinct Indo-Islamic civilisation that culminated in the Mughal Empire. While paying lip service to the power centres of Islam in the Gulf, including Mecca and Medina, this civilisation has cultivated its own variety of Islam, based on Sufism. Over the last fifty years, pan-Islamic ties have intensified between these two regions. Gathering together some of the best specialists on the subject, this volume explores these ideological, educational and spiritual networks, which have gained momentum due to political strategies, migration flows and increased communications. At stake are both the resilience of the civilisation that imbued South Asia with a specific identity, and the relations between Sunnis and Shias in a region where Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a cultural proxy war, as evident in the foreign ramifications of sectarianism in Pakistan. Pan-Islamic Connections investigates the nature and implications of the cultural, spiritual and socio-economic rapprochement between these two Islams.
This volume of Princeton Readings in Religions brings together the work of more than thirty scholars of Islam and Muslim societies in South Asia to create a rich anthology of primary texts that contributes to a new appreciation of the lived religious and cultural experiences of the world's largest population of Muslims. The thirty-four selections--translated from Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindavi, Dakhani, and other languages--highlight a wide variety of genres, many rarely found in standard accounts of Islamic practice, from oral narratives to elite guidance manuals, from devotional songs to secular judicial decisions arbitrating Islamic law, and from political posters to a discussion among college women affiliated with an "Islamist" organization. Drawn from premodern texts, modern pamphlets, government and organizational archives, new media, and contemporary fieldwork, the selections reflect the rich diversity of Islamic belief and practice in South Asia. Each reading is introduced with a brief contextual note from its scholar-translator, and Barbara Metcalf introduces the whole volume with a substantial historical overview.
This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of Islamic studies find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. A reader will discover, for instance, the most reliable introductions and overviews to the topic, and the most important publications on various areas of scholarly interest within this topic. In Islamic studies, as in other disciplines, researchers at all levels are drowning in potentially useful scholarly information, and this guide has been created as a tool for cutting through that material to find the exact source you need. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study of the Islamic religion and Muslim cultures. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.aboutobo.com.
In recent times, there has been intense global interest on and scrutiny of Islamic education. In reforming Islamic schools, what are the key actions initiated and are they contested or negotiated by and among Muslims? This edited collection brings together leading scholars to explore current reforms in Islamic schools. Drawing together international case studies, Reforms in Islamic Education critically discusses the reforms, considering the motivations for them, nature of them and perceptions and experiences of people affected by them. The contributors also explore the tensions, resistance, contestations and negotiations between Muslims and non-Muslims, and among Muslims, in relation to the reforms. Highlighting the need to understand and critique reforms in Islamic schools within broad historical, political and socio-cultural contexts, this book is a valuable resource for academics, policymakers and educators.

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