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Number of Downlaods: 16

Published Date: Sep 15, 1998

Language-Teaching in Pakistani Madrassas (R-16)

Tariq Rahman, SDPI
1998

Introduction

The madrassas (or madaris) are religious seminaries which have been in the news in the last two years for two major reasons. First, their students, called tulaba in Arabic and taliban in Pashto, rose to rule most of Afghanistan. And second, because they are allegedly responsible for creating, or at least fanning, sectarian conflict in Pakistan between the Shias and the Sunnis. What goes on in the madrassa, then, is significant for understanding Pakistani society. This article, however, does not attempt to provide understanding of either the Taliban phenomenon or sectarian violence. What it attempts to do is much more modest i.e to provide an account of language-teaching in the Pakistani madrassas. This should be useful for scholars not only because there is no academic study of this phenomenon in English and this study fills a gap in our knowledge, but also because it helps us understand how language-teaching helps to reinforce the world view which makes the products of madrassa education behave the way they do in Pakistan.