Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Uprooting Extremism through Education

Extremism or terrorism should not be labeled to any specific religion or state, because all the terrorists and extremists possess a specific class of psyche that cannot be justified by any religion or law.

The root causes of extremism are illiteracy, ignorance and unavailability of basic rights which lead to terrorism, convulsion and turmoil in the society. Pakistan is facing same circumstances due to the unawareness towards education.

The role of Islamic school and madrassa in Pakistan and its contribution to Islamic militancy has been the subject of intense debate for last few years. This sector of education and public education system has suffered from neglect and politicization over the last 30 years. The overall adult literacy rate for the population above the age of 15 is about 43.5 percent, while the rates for Sri Lanka and India are 92 percent and 61 percent, respectively.

The schools meant for Islamic education, teaching of Quran Recitation and Islamic values unluckily started to give the lessons of extremism and militancy. Still there are many such institutions where correct religious education is being provided complying to Qur’an, Hadith and Islamic literature.

A strong and effective education system in Pakistan will help to ensure that the country steers toward a path of stability, moderation, and prosperity in the years to come, and should therefore be a top priority for the government. Lack of adequate education opportunities in Pakistan has contributed to the development of extremist ideologies that have fueled terrorism and sectarian tensions as well as stifled economic growth. Fostering development and reform of the public education system will not only bring the calm in the society but also help in wiping out the major problems like hunger, unemployment, extremism and economic downfall.