Thursday, March 17, 2005

Numbers Game.

Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that fewer children are enrolled in madrassas, contrary to conclusions drawn by the 9/11 commission. The team found that fewer than .3% of the children in Pakistan are enrolled in these religious schools. Previously, the 9/11 commission claimed that a vast number of children in the middle east and Indian subcontinent are enrolled in such programs, making terrorist recruitment of these youngsters a cinch. Once again, we see that our nation's interpretation of Muslims abroad is in error.

I applaud this study -- it uses hard data to draw meaningful conclusions about the state of affairs in a nation critical to the war on terror. Moreover, this report demonstrates that enrollment in reputable schools in Pakistan is on the rise. It's a much needed change in this third world country.
We need to continue to critically evaluate the stream of information we receive about the lives of Muslims around the globe. Absent such skepticism, we are prone to develop misconceptions about the Muslims and their religious activities. Absent such skepticism, we are lambs led to slaughter.

You can access the study here.


Anonymous little john said...

That is good news for Pakistan and the world. Do you think previous reports (like 9/11 commission)were overblown?Did you see (I think it was a recent 60 Minutes) the Saudi spokesman describe the corrections they have been making in their schools? Also have you seen the commercials the Saudis have been airing inside the kingdom regarding terrorism?

4:28 PM  
Blogger mindful said...

I'm glad to hear this, vavoom. Hopefully Pakistan will be an American ally for a long time to come.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

LJ: I think the 9/11 commission's report was a good attempt to characterize ten million factors into one document. As such, I think it is inherently flawed.

I haven't seen the commercials or the 60 minutes piece. I'll cruise around the net and try to find them.

11:39 PM  

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