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The Challenge to Madrassa Reforms in Pakistan

Hira Shakeel1, Dr. Irfan Mahsud2 & Sajjad Hussain3

Madrassas have established strong socio-economic linkage with the society of Pakistan, as these institutions perform many social functions such as, providing free religious education to millions of students. However, there are various madrassas that have been able to indoctrinate the ideology of religious extremism among people in a manner that they justify their actions as Jihad. Many governments in Pakistan undertook the challenge of reforming the madrassa system, however their policies did not achieve the desired goals due to several obstacles. This
study explores various impediments in the implementation of madrassa reforms. The study has utilized qualitative research methodology and main argument of the study is being developed on collection of secondary data from different articles, books, renowned journals, international and national newspapers, and published research work. The research concludes that madrassa reforms have not been implemented in their true sense because the problems lie at the part of both government and madrassa authorities. The government and the madrassa
authorities remained rigid in their stance and refuse to find a common ground for dealing with the problem of religious extremism that has direct linkage with many seminaries. If the government and the religious authorities in Pakistan can overcome their differences, together through mutual efforts they can implement madrassa reforms as a measure to counter the rise of religious extremism in the country.

Keywords: madrassa, reforms, challenges, Pakistan, militancy, counter-religious extremism, sectarianism, seminaries, ullemas