Madrasa edn has no direct link with militancy: Study, Daily Sun, 26 September 2011

Staff Correspondent

Madrasa education has no direct link with the rise of Islamist militant groups in Bangladesh but its age-old curriculum needs to be modernised, says a research report.
Another strategy paper on public information on intelligence agencies has suggested engagement of community people in preventing terrorist attacks and criminal activities, and thereby ending the culture of excessive secrecy and mistrust.

Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) on Sunday published the two strategy papers under “People Peace Building Programme” financed by Australia. We cannot link madrasa with militancy. There is no institutional connection [that those educated from there are all militants],” Humayun Kabir, senior research director of BEI, told the launching ceremony of the reports.

Presenting his paper, Kabir pointed out that some madrasa graduates took part in militant activities and Afghan War as did the secular educated people.
He also emphasised investment in improving infrastructure of rural madrasas alongside improving education.

Prof Golam Hossain of Government and Politics of Jahangirnagar University said there should be a serious study on madrasa education and its curriculum should be put in place as they were during its glorious days.

He ruled out the possibility of creating militants through madrasa education.

Editor of daily sun Prof. Dr Syed Anwar Husain termed the typical madrasa education “unconstitutional” in the light of article 17 which speaks of unitary education. “Either you delete the article or we make a unified education,” he said describing the madrasa education as nothing but general education that teaches people all aspects of education.

He expressed his conviction that madrasa teachers are not qualified enough to teach Islamic education.

Prof. Husain also appreciated the strategy paper on “Public Information: The Role of Intelligence Agencies” and said the government must look into suggestion that information must be shared with the people.

In the paper, Shahab Enam Khan, a teacher of International Relations at Jahangirnagar University, said intelligence sharing should not be seen as impediment to national security and there is a need to abolish the organisational politics of inter-agency non-cooperation.

BEI president Farooq Sobhan said there is a gap between intelligence agencies and general public. “Intelligence agencies alone cannot combat terrorism without the help of people,” he added.

Addressing as chief guest, Australian High Commissioner in Dhaka Dr Justin Lee lauded the role of government of Bangladesh in addressing terrorism and said Australia is pleased to cooperate with Bangladesh in this regard.


26 September, 2011