KEHRORE PAKKA (PAKISTAN)
Associated Press via Washington Post
November 21, 2017
By Kathy Gannon
[Note: This article contains additional text, not included in the CBS version of the article, which Abuse Tracker posted on November 21, 2017.]
There are more than 22,000 registered madrassas or Islamic schools in Pakistan. The students they teach are often among the country’s poorest, who receive food and an education for free.
Many more madrassas — small two- or three-room seminaries in villages throughout Pakistan — are unregistered, opened by a graduate of another madrassa, often without any education other than a proficiency in the Quran. They operate without scrutiny, ignored by the authorities, say residents living nearby. Parveen’s son, for example, went to an unregistered madrassa.
Madrassas are funded by wealthy business people, religious political parties and even donors from other countries, such as Saudi Arabia. The teachings of the madrassas are guided by schools of Islamic thought, such as Shiite and Sunni.
However, unlike the Catholic Church, which has a clear hierarchy topped by the Vatican, there is no central religious authority that governs madrassas. There is also no central body that investigates or responds to allegations in religious schools.
“Basic responsibility, when something happens, is with the head of the madrassa,” says Mufti Mohammed Naeem, the head of the sprawling Jamia Binoria madrassa in the city of Karachi.
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