This article was downloaded by: [mohammed bunimer] On: 12 August 2011, At: 10:26 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK The International Journal of Human Rights Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/fjhr20 Human rights and building peace: the case of Pakistani madrasas Mohammed Abu-Nimer a b & Ayse Kadayifci c d a Peace and Conflict Resolution Program, American University b The Peace-building and Development Institute c School of International Service, American University, Washington d Salam Institute for Peace and Justice Available online: 24 Jun 2011 To cite this article: Mohammed Abu-Nimer & Ayse Kadayifci (2011): Human rights and building peace: the case of Pakistani madrasas, The International Journal of Human Rights, 15:7, 1136-1159 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2010.535492 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-andconditions This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. 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The International Journal of Human Rights Vol. 15, No. 7, October 2011, 1136 –1159 Human rights and building peace: the case of Pakistani madrasas Mohammed Abu-Nimera∗ and Ayse Kadayifcib Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 a Peace and Conﬂict Resolution Program, American University, and The Peace-building and Development Institute; bSchool of International Service, American University, Washington, and Salam Institute for Peace and Justice An increasing number of local, national and international nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are diligently working for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Muslim societies, and not without success. However, at times, some of these NGOs are perceived to be agents of ‘Western colonisation’ who attempt to undermine traditional structures and customs. Such attitudes are particularly prevalent in many Muslim countries such as Pakistan, which has suffered under colonial regimes for long periods of time. Thus it becomes important to frame human rights and peace-building efforts within the religio-cultural contexts of the community itself and to identify who can be effective agents of peace building and human rights. This article argues that human rights and peace building are inextricably linked and that any peace-building effort must incorporate mechanisms to enhance human rights. One of the main ways in which human rights can be enhanced in a conﬂict environment is to incorporate it in the critical educational institutions. This article looks at the madrasa training programme, undertaken by the International Center for Diplomacy (ICRD) in Pakistan that included human rights education within an Islamic framework, as a case study, and discusses its effectiveness and required areas of improvement. Introduction The twenty-ﬁrst century has not yet brought peace and stability to the Muslim world. On the contrary, violent conﬂict and war continues to cause great pain and suffering in many Muslim states. Causes of conﬂicts in the Muslim world are diverse and complex. Many of these conﬂicts are intra-state where ethnic, sectarian or religious, and political differences are used to justify violence (Algeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc). Many of these communities lack basic human needs such as access to clean water, health services or economic livelihoods. Many of these states are governed by authoritarian regimes that do not represent the will of their people, and thus suffer a crisis of legitimacy. Furthermore, torture, lack of freedom of expression and participation has become serious issues in many of these societies.1 Consequently, these conﬂicts are often related to human-rights issues. It is increasingly becoming clear that without establishing social, political and cultural institutions that protect human dignity and rights, it is not possible to build sustainable peace.2 There are an increasing number of local, national and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who are diligently working for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Muslim societies, and not without success.3 However, at times, some ∗ Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com ISSN 1364-2987 print/ISSN 1744-053X online # 2011 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/13642987.2010.535492 http://www.informaworld.com Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 The International Journal of Human Rights 1137 of these NGOs are perceived to be agents of ‘Western colonialisation’, attempting to undermine traditional structures and customs, therefore they are not always trusted by the local communities. Furthermore, in many Muslim contexts, human rights are perceived to be a ‘Western’ invention, thus alien to Islam.4 Such attitudes are particularly prevalent in countries like Pakistan, which has suffered under colonial regimes for long periods of time. For these reasons it becomes important to frame human rights and peace-building efforts within the religio-cultural contexts of the community itself and to identify who can be effective agents of peace-building and human rights for the community of peace builders.5 Although the modern notion of human rights has been developed and articulated within a Western context, many of the central ideas – such as human dignity, respect and protection of life, property and identity, among others – that underline it are shared by different cultural traditions. Islamic tradition is no exception. Islam clearly recognises that, just by being born human, each individual is endowed with inalienable rights, and urges Muslims to respect and protect these rights.6 Framing human rights within an Islamic framework will help Muslims to reconnect with this tradition and address human rights issues in their communities. One of the main ways in which human rights can be enhanced in a conﬂict environment is to incorporate it in the critical educational institutions, because educational institutions play an important role in forming the behaviours and attitudes of students. This article will look at the madrasa reform programme undertaken by the International Center for Diplomacy (ICRD) in Pakistan that included human rights education within an Islamic framework as a case study, and will discuss its effectiveness and required areas of improvement. It is important to emphasise that this article does not make a case for or against madrasa reform in Pakistan. This article is built on the premise that human rights and peace-building are inextricably linked, and that any peace building effort must incorporate mechanisms to enhance human rights. This raises important questions: what are the best avenues to enhance human rights in Muslim societies and who can accomplish this legitimately and effectively? This article argues that values of human rights and diversity are integral parts of Islamic teachings, and thus can be part of the message of Islamic education presented to students in the madrasas. Furthermore, it is both needed and feasible to connect these authentic Islamic teachings of diversity, pluralism and human rights with the existing Islamic education. In order to do that effectively, building basic awareness among teachers in madrassas, and introducing new pedagogical approaches in teaching them to their students is required. Therefore, this article examines the intervention efforts of ICRD and aims to present some of the strengths and limitations of this effort in order to initiate a constructive discussion on how human-rights education can be incorporated into the madrasa education system effectively in a context like the Pakistani madrasa system. After giving a brief background on the methodology the paper will develop the conceptual framework that links peace and human rights next. Following that, the paper will provide background information about the Pakistani madrasa system within Pakistani social, cultural and historical context. That section will be followed by a brief description of the intervention programme being evaluated and a discussion on its effectiveness and areas of improvement. A note on methodology As noted above, this article examines the effectiveness of the Madrasa Reform Project towards building sustainable peace, and addressing discrimination by integrating principles Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 1138 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci and values of human rights, peace and diversity rooted in Islamic tradition. The analysis presented in this article is based on an evaluation study conducted by the authors in Pakistan and Washington, DC, where ICRD is located. The evaluation aimed to understand how effective the programme offered by ICRD was in enhancing awareness and understanding of interactive teaching methods, student centred pedagogy, diversity,and human rights values, concepts and practices among the madrasa leaders and teachers. Towards that end, the authors have employed a qualitative research method that included surveys, interviews with various resource persons (nine experts who lectured and worked with the project), seven focus group discussions (15 teachers in each group), and on-the-ground observations conducted both in Washington, DC and Pakistan (visited two schools in Islamabad). Sampling of this research aimed at reaching a group of Pakistanis who included local ICRD partners, students, university professors, graduates of Red Mosque, and madrasa teachers and administrators who have participated in ICRD training workshops. Authors convened seven focus groups in Islamabad and Lahore, surveyed 57 teachers (who were selected from a comprehensive list of the participants in the training workshops), interviewed various resources persons in Pakistan and Washington, DC including ICDR staff, board members and other relevant actors with extensive knowledge of madrasa reform in Pakistan. The survey sample included a relatively equal number of participants who attended in the capacity of teacher and administrator (24 or 42.1per cent). There were ﬁve participants who attended in the capacity as both a teacher and an administrator (8.8 per cent) and four people who identiﬁed themselves as ‘other’ (seven per cent). The teachers and administrators who participated in the training workshops and programmes were afﬁliated with major sects: Sunni, Shia and the Sunni among them belonged to the four sub-sects: Barelvi, Deobandi, Ahl-i-Hadith and Jamat-e-Islami. The average age of the participants was 38 years old (however the ages ranged between 23 and 68 years old). The participants of the focus groups were selected according to the following criteria: 1. participated in at least one workshop (four days and more); 2. belong to one of the different Wifaq madrasa; and 3. took part in their master trainer workshop. Due to security concerns, availability of local coordinators and the resources available, full random sampling was not possible for both the survey or focus group. Thus the selection was mainly carried out by availability, regional representation and number of workshop days (excluding those who participated in one day workshops only). As a result of the above conditions, the local organisers’ efforts were critical in the selection of the participants and transporting them form one region to the location of the focus group. In order to capture the local context and its dynamics and to gain access to many of these teachers, the team of the evaluators included three local researchers (one of them graduated from a madrasa system). Such combinations assisted in providing a contextual analysis of the data, as understanding this project in an Islamic context is essential in order to be able to fully assess its relevance and effectiveness.7 Despite these measures to capture the context, it must be noted that there are many other factors and dynamics in the Pakistani context that inﬂuence the effect of any intervention in a madrasa system, which are outside the scope of this article. Linking peace building and human rights The ﬁeld of peace and conﬂict resolution is increasingly recognising that for peace to be sustainable, it is not enough to focus only on direct, physical violence. It must also Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 The International Journal of Human Rights 1139 address violence inherent in the way a society organises itself through institutions (i.e. structural violence) and eliminate those cultural, religious, national and discursive symbols that perpetuate and legitimise both direct and structural forms of violence.8 Scholars in the ﬁeld also agree that individuals and groups have basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, dignity, recognition and identity, among others.9 If these needs are not satisﬁed, this will lead to conﬂict.10 Thus conﬂict resolution according to these scholars is to ﬁnd arrangements to respond to these deprived needs without being mutually exclusive. Many of these needs are associated with certain rights, therefore, they form the basis of human rights norms as articulated in international documents and treaties.11 It is clear, then, that deprivation of basic human needs leads to violations of human rights, which, in turn, heightens the potential for violent conﬂict.12As observed by Michelle Parlevliet, a state’s denial to protect human rights may prompt groups to use force to press for their rights, which can create more conﬂict within and between states.13 In fact, the principles of human rights that were incorporated into many international treaties and what became the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, were designed ‘to prevent recourse to violence and to be a foundation of freedom, peace and justice in the world’.14 On the other hand, violent conﬂict may also lead to human rights violations, such as loss of life, property, freedom and even dignity. However, this is often counterproductive as violations of human rights often deepen animosity and the desire to continue ﬁghting. Furthermore, violent conﬂict often involves creation of enemy images and dehumanization, which sets the stage for future human rights abuses.15 In addition, human rights abuses often cause trauma among victims. Transforming conﬂictual relationships and building healthy societies requires the healing of traumas, in addition to addressing the roots of conﬂict, satisfying basic needs of the parties and pursuing justice. For peace to be sustainable, then, we must develop social institutions and mechanisms that satisfy basic human needs and uphold the dignity of each and every human being, and address human rights abuses, because ‘if rights abuses are not addressed in the context of the resolution of the current conﬂict, they can set the stage for future conﬂicts because unaddressed past grievances are so easy to manipulate’.16 Human rights education as a central component of peace building Focusing on educational institutions is a critical component of building sustainable peace. Educational institutions, such as schools and universities, play a crucial role in the dissemination of ideas and world views. These institutions not only educate students in social, political, historical, religious and scientiﬁc issues, but also mould their identities and implant either tolerance or hatred and violence into their consciousness.17 Therefore, in order to establish peace that is a system based on good governance and human rights, it is important to incorporate these values within the education system. ‘Human Rights Education (HRE) is based on the premise that human rights will reduce violence within society, if understood as generally accepted principles and rules of society expressed and adapted to a particular society and culture.18 Often linked conceptually and in practice with civic education, conﬂict resolution programmes and democracy education,19 the goal of human rights education is to integrate international human rights standards and practices into people’s daily lives.20 Although, Tania Bernath, Tracey Holland and Paul Martin observe strong empirical evidence that human rights education reduces violence in conﬂict situations,21 they also ﬁnd that, to be effective, human rights education must address several factors relevant to communities in conﬂict or post-conﬂict situations.22 First of all, human rights education should address violence, fear, insecurity and a sense of Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 1140 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci powerlessness. It should also deal with social trauma, personal and group animosities, marginalization and patterns of discrimination. Similar to other types of education, human rights education is most effective when it is meaningful to the community and addresses their daily realities, and is derived from social and cultural contexts. Therefore, it is particularly important to note that for these values to be endorsed by the communities, and respond to their particular needs, it is important to teach human rights in terms of local traditions.23 This requires human rights education to be based on a thorough needs assessment and a thorough understanding of the local culture, history, tradition and resources. In Muslim countries like Pakistan, human rights education must take into consideration the particular needs of the society, the history of colonialization, the relationship between different sects such as Shia and Sunni, and relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as the relationship between different schools of thought such as Wahhabi, Deobandi, Berelvi and Jamat-al Islami. Furthermore, human rights education must be linked to Islamic sources such as the Quran and Hadith, and also to Islamic history and institutions as these inform the sources of legitimacy that are critical for human rights education to be considered legitimate and applicable. Islam and human rights From an international legal perspective, human rights may be deﬁned as the minimum standards of legal, civil and political freedoms that are granted universally via the United Nations, or regionally through such bodies as the Council of Europe). In fact, they refer to those basic standards without which people cannot live in dignity and are based on the idea that regardless of race, nationality, class, gender or religion, all human beings have inalienable rights. International documents such as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises and deﬁnes these rights, some of which include life, education, health, employment, shelter, property and freedom of expression. Development and articulation of these rights reﬂect the philosophical, theoretical perspectives and particular experiences of the Western tradition, from which these values stem. There has been much debate about the applicability and acceptance of the universality of these values in different cultural/religious contexts, especially in various Muslim communities. There is an increasing agreement that for these norms to be effectively implemented there is a need to contextualise them within the religio-cultural tradition of the community. This view is supported by A. An-Na’im who has observed in that regard that ‘[t]he implementation of international human rights norms in any society requires thoughtful and well-informed engagement with religion (broadly deﬁned) because of its strong inﬂuence on human belief systems and behaviour’ and that ‘religious considerations are too important for the majority of people for human rights scholars and advocates to continue to dismiss them simply as irrelevant, insigniﬁcant, or problematic.’24 Western scholarship often has focused on the incompatibility of Islam with Human Rights. ‘The impression that Islam is inherently incompatible with human rights has been encouraged by the reservations that many Muslim countries have continued to enter when they ratify human rights conventions.’25 Indeed, some of the countries with the poorest human rights records are Muslim. Furthermore, there has been a strong resistance to the idea of human rights in traditionalist Muslim communities like Pakistan. Due to the perceived tension in respect to the concept of individual rights and the notion of the communal Muslim identity (ummah) ‘it is commonly believed among traditional Muslims that universal human rights will destroy the integrity of Muslim communities when individual rights are highlighted’.26 The International Journal of Human Rights 1141 Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 Yet, over the last few decades in particular there is an increasing literature that focuses on human rights from an Islamic perspective which argues that, although there are some differences among the two traditions, Islamic tradition is compatible with Human Rights norms stated in international documents, such as the UDHR.27 As Mashoud A. Badarin observes, Muslim states have adopted various regional instruments such as the Arab Charter on Human Rights, the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the OIC Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the OIC Covenant on the Rights of the Child in Islam, and the Beirut Declaration on the Regional Protection of Human Rights, all of which respectively make references to Islam as a relevant factor in the human rights discourse in the Muslim world:28 Most of the modern Islamic discourse on human rights revolves around religiously deﬁned social categories such as muslim and kaﬁr (non-Muslim), rather than a universally inclusive concept of humanity (adamiyyah).29 Implementation of these documents has been quite slow and many Muslim countries continue to suffer from grave human rights abuses, but these documents represent the most recent progression of human rights debate among Muslims and scholars alike. Recep Senturk argues that there is a common ground between Islamic and modern secular discourse on human rights, therefore it is possible to relate them to each other in the present world.30 Islamic values and principles that underline the debate on human rights are derived from Islamic sources such as the Quran and Hadith. In Islamic legal history, both the Sunni and Shia jurists, such as Ibn Hanifa, Ibn Hanbal, among many others, have emphasized and advocated the centrality of civil and human rights, and at the same time fought for them.31 However, there is not a uniﬁed position on the nature and contents of human rights among Muslims.32 Similar to the Western tradition, Islamic notions of human rights are based on the idea that regardless of race, nationality, class, gender or religion, all human beings have inalienable rights. Various values emphasised over and over in the Quran such as justice, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, equality, peace and harmony call for recognising the dignity of each human being and for respecting the rights of others. From a Quranic perspective humans are endowed with special privileges and responsibilities, while sharing with non-human creations the common existential condition of submission to the divine. For example Quranic verse 17:70 states: We have conferred dignity (we have honored) on the children of Adam, and borne them over land and sea, and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life, and favored them far above most of our Creations. Some of these rights include equality before law, protection of life and property, freedom of thought, conscience, right for self determination and respect for dignity,33 among others. However, the potential fulﬁlment of human dignity depends upon acceptance of certain duties,34 increased responsibility, continual self-effacement and active pursuit of knowledge. Emphasising the importance of communal harmony, when individuals meet these obligations they require certain rights and freedoms, which are prescribed in Islamic law. However, neither Islamic states, nor their educational systems have tapped into the Islamic foundations of human rights. Unearthing and reintroducing these values within the context of the needs of modern Muslim societies is central to building sustainable peace, which cannot be completed without addressing the human rights abuses in Muslim communities. 1142 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 Human rights education and Madrasas in Pakistan Historically, as well as in our current era, Islamic tradition has recognised the centrality of education both as a form of worship and as a means to moral, ethical and cultural socialization of the ummah (Muslim community). Especially, during the formative years of the Islamic community, education was considered a high and noble ambition. For example, the ﬁrst Quranic revelation, which states: ‘Read in the name of Thy Lord who creates’ also advises the Prophet Mohammed to pray to Allah to increase his knowledge.35 Prophet Mohammed is also recorded to have said that ‘the learned men are his heirs, and that with knowledge Allah raised [sic] a people and make them pioneers in whose paths others will follow and whose examples other will take.’36 Another Hadith (Prophet’s saying) that emphasises the centrality of knowledge and education ask Muslims to ‘seek knowledge though it be in China.’37 Even though education – ‘which initially meant learning the Quran and developing a system of piety around it’ – was considered as one of the central aspects of Islamic tradition since the beginning of the Islamic community, ‘it was later in the ﬁrst and second centuries of Islam that scattered centers of learning grew up around persons of eminence.’38 Fazlur Rahman states that during this period these eminent teachers would give a student a permit (ijaza) to teach and copy down the prophet’s tradition, and deduce legal points from them.39 It is estimated that the ﬁrst organised schools with established curricula were set up by the Shi’a to impart knowledge and indoctrinate students and later on, when the Seljukids and Ayyubids replaced the Shi’a states, they have established large Sunni madrasas or colleges.40 As noted by Abdalla et al. ‘historically, as well as in our current era, Islamic tradition has recognized the centrality of education both as a form of worship and as a means to moral, ethical, and cultural socialisation of the ummah (Muslim community).’41 As Makdisi notes madrasa was the embodiment of Islam’s ideal religious orientation and traditionalism, which combined law and traditionalism to develop a unique Islamic scholastic method.42 Also Wasim Ahmad emphasised that madrasas, as the centres of learning in the Muslim world, not only taught Quranic subjects but included subjects such as philosophy, rhetoric, grammar, mathematics and in some cases medicine and astronomy, among others.43 Theology became a regular subject of madrasas at a much later date eventually highlighting religion and sectarian division.44 Interest in these areas of knowledge gradually declined, heralding the decline of Islamic inﬂuence in the world and Islamic educational institutions have been experiencing a sharp decline over the last few centuries in particular.45 Education once again became a central theme as a result of colonisation, where many Muslim communities encountered Western hegemony and superiority in areas such as military, sciences and education, among others.46 In order to close the gap between the West, many Muslim communities have attempted to introduce modern secular educational institutions.47 However Islamic educational institutions such as madrasas continued to exist and resist modernisation efforts. As observed by Dzuhayatin: Islamic educational systems have mainly been ‘transferring’ rather than ‘transforming’ Islamic thought. As a result, Islamic thought has gradually become marginalized and alienated from the developments of modern science. Thus it has not yet accommodated itself to contemporary issues such as human rights, democracy, and pluralism.48 Madrasa education in Pakistan The central role of Islamic educational institutions in general and madrasas in particular became an important area of interest in the West particularly after the 11 September Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 The International Journal of Human Rights 1143 attacks. Various scholars such as Jamal Malik have critically explored the link between madrasa education and terrorism since then.49 Evidence has been proposed in support of the allegations that those acts were inﬂuenced by a programme of religious ideology, which was organised and mobilised at religious seminaries (i.e. madrasas) in Pakistan and Afghanistan.50 Hence, as Tariq Rahman observes, ‘madrasas, which were earlier associated with conservatism, ossiﬁcation and stagnation of Islam are now seens as hotbeds of militancy in the name of Islam.’51 For example, he observes that: ‘One thing is clear, the growth of the Madrasas in Pakistan reﬂects the ascendance of religious extremism in the country.’52 It is important to note that the majority of madrasas, as the central educational institutions since the formative years of Islam, do not preach aggression or violence.53 Indeed, as noted by William Dalrymple in his article ‘Inside the Madrasas’ in the 1 December 2005 issue of the New York Review of Books, Madrasas were the major source of religious and scientiﬁc learning throughout much of Islamic history, just as church schools and universities were in Europe.54 Curricula of madrasas are often ultra-conservative yet, largely paciﬁst.55 Furthermore, as Mumtaz Ahmad notes, although the curriculum of these madrasas remained the same for over 150 years, anti-Western sentiment, militarism and radicalism are recent tendencies that became manifest only after the 1990s,56 and for that reason it cannot be the source of radicalism and militancy.57 Additionally, madrasas are an integral aspect of daily life in Pakistan, and play a key role within the society by educating students from poorer areas. However, there are not accurate statistics on how many of these schools actually exist. One report suggests that this number is around 20,000, compared to around 137 at the time of partition.58 The same report also states that the number of students studying at these madrasas is thought to be around 1.7 million students mainly from poor rural families.59 Despite the fact that there is no agreement on the number of madrasas or the number of students being educated at these institutions, the debated numbers themselves indicate how widespread they are and the key role they play in the Pakistani society. Madrasas, in Pakistan, mainly consist of Quranic schools that teach exclusively Quran and Islamic subjects. ‘The objective of the madrasa is to introduce Muslim children to basic Qur’anic teachings, promote an Islamic ethos in society and groom students for religious duties.’60 There are, however, madrasas that teach secular subjects and have female students.61 There are ﬁve separate types or boards of madrasas in Pakistan: Wahhabi, Deobandi, Barelvi, Jamat-i-Islami and Shia. In addition, there are three different kinds of madrasas that offer different levels of education. The ﬁrst one is maktab, which is geared towards the illiterate and mainly to teach reading of the Quran. The second is the Hifz or elementary level madrasas that focus on memorisation of the Quran. Finally, the third level is the Dars-e-Nizamiya, which teaches – either in full or in part – a specialised curriculum called Dars-e-Nizami.62 Islamic exegesis and other advanced Islamic studies, such as interpretation of the Quran and Hadith (Prophet’s deeds and sayings) and jurisprudence are partially introduced in the eight years, however a more advanced Islamic education is pursued though higher educational institutions such as ‘dar- ul uloom’.63 Madrasas in Pakistan also perform certain social, economic and psychological functions. As noted by Mumtaz Ahmad, Madrasas have been and remain one of the surest paths of social mobility for the lower level occupational castes and artisans of the rural areas of Pakistan for they provide, in most part, free Islamic education and teach how to read and write mostly for poor students from rural areas.64 They also provide shelter, food and safety for many rural immigrants into urban areas,65 and economic services to poor families who cannot afford to care for their children.66 As a result often the most Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 1144 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci vulnerable, economically depressed and impressionable youth of Pakistan end up in the madrasas.67 Because the dismal education they receive leaves them without any real chance of taking part in the socio-economic growth of their country, many of these young people see their best option as returning to the madrasa as a teacher or joining various groups dissatisﬁed with their own government or the West, which they view as anti-Islamic. There have been various attempts to reform the madrasa system in Pakistan.68 However, none of these attempts have been successful in reforming and modernising the system in a systematic and comprehensive way. Pakistani society is faced with issues of sectarian conﬂict and violence as well as religious intolerance, negative perception of Western societies and human rights violations. Women, in general, also suffer gravely from human rights abuses and hardly have access to decision-making processes that involve their issues.69 The madrasa education system reﬂects these negative misperceptions and conﬂicts as well. There is hardly any cooperation or communication between different types of madrasas or other sects and religious communities with regards to curriculum, professional development, teachers’ qualiﬁcations, alumni needs, etc. On the contrary, mistrust and competition guide the interactions between them. Sectarian ideologies prevalent in these institutions often leave little room for understanding or acceptance of other sects, religions or cultures.70 Due to their isolation and lack of resources, madrasa students have less opportunities to get a more balanced and nuanced picture of the non-Muslim world and the West. Archaic educational tools and curricula focus on a narrow range of Islamic topics. These topics rarely emphasise the Islamic principles of religious tolerance, coexistence and human rights. On the contrary, the madrasa education takes place in an environment that often breeds suspicion, fear and intolerance towards other sects and religious traditions, which makes it easier for these students to be persuaded by extremists. Until recently, US policy towards madrasas focused on marginalisation and elimination of these madrasas that were associated with an extremist interpretation of Islam. This approach is supported by the ICG report (March 2007), which recommends closing all madrasas linked with extremist organisations. There have also been various attempts to reform these institutions to address modern challenges.71 These range between Pakistani governmental programmes to various local and international NGOs. The majority of these programmes focused on the introduction of secular sciences and subjects but did not focus on diversity, tolerance, peace or human rights. Other programmes that attempt to introduce these themes did so from a secular Western-based approach, which contributed to the fears of losing their Islamic identity and their role as ‘gate-keepers’ in the society to deﬁne what Islam is.72 Therefore, these institutions are often threatened by and resist any proposed change,73 especially if these changes are coming from a non-Muslim context. One of the very few programmes that aimed to address the issue of madrasas, extremism and human rights abuses from an Islamic perspective by engaging with Islamic sources and heritage was the Center for International Religion and Diplomacy’s Madrasa Reform Program. ICRD Madrasa Reform Program and human rights74 ICRD’s Madrasa Reform Program was launched in February 2004 by ICRD to: (1) expand the curriculums of the madrasas to include the social and scientiﬁc disciplines; (2) incorporate into those curriculums considerations of religious tolerance and human rights (with a particular emphasis on women’s rights); (3) inspire changes in pedagogy to support the Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 The International Journal of Human Rights 1145 development of critical thinking skills; and (4) establish a related training program for teachers. The ICRD’s Madrasa Reform Program attempted to address the problem at its source, and aimed to facilitate reform in a meaningful way. ICRD’s approach relied on engaging madrasa leaders directly, and stimulated them to embrace change by tapping into religious and cultural resources that were meaningful to the communities. The programme involved a series of interactive workshops that included religious tolerance and dialogue; conﬂict, peace and the role of Islam; human rights in Islam; women’s rights in Islam; change in teaching methodology at Madrasas, among others. These workshops took place in diverse regions of Pakistan including the NWFP, Baluchistan, Sindh, mainly Karachi, Punjab and Islamabad. The majority of the participants (59 per cent) were from the Baluchistan, a rarely contacted region especially by outsiders. It is important to note that, while other madrasa reform programmes worked mainly with urban schools, using English as the language of training or relying on Western models (thus limiting the type and number of participants), ICRD sought to reach out to rarely approached regions such as the North Western Province Region of Pakistan. Thus, as a pioneering programme in the ﬁeld of Islamic education and training, it was unique to engaging a rarely approached group of madrasa teachers and administrators (both due to their religious and ideological afﬁliation, and their geographical locations). In addition to the workshops in Pakistan, ICRD also hosted the leaders of Pakistan’s top Madrasa Oversight Board, the Ittihad Tanzeemat Madaris Deenia (ITMD), in August 2007 on a visit to study religious education in America. This board wields powerful inﬂuence over the curriculums and certifying or approving exams of the majority of Pakistan’s approximately 15,000 madrasas.75 During this trip madrasa leaders met with US government ofﬁcials, educators and religious leaders to discuss madrasa reform and other topics. ICRD also cooperated with the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) for a ﬁve day workshop in Islamabad on Pakistani Religious Leaders Peace Dialogue in April 2007, where 19 teachers were trained in peace education and conﬂict resolution and with the Asia Foundation on Support for Free and Fair Elections in Pakistan between November 2007 and April 2008 in order to educate and train madrasa administrators in election processes and democratisation. Since 2004, the ICRD, in relation to the Madrasa Reform Program, has organised a total of 132 events.76 These events include one pilot workshop, ﬁve policy seminars, 125 workshops, and two train-the-trainer workshops.77 One-hundred eighteen of these events involved workshops of less than six days, while 14 of them involved workshops of more than six days. During this period the total number of participants attending was 2,359. Madrasa attendance was 1,207, while workshop attendance was 2,169. Ninety-two per cent of the workshops included Deobandi and Ahle-Hadith sects (78 per cent Deobandi and 14 per cent Ahle-Hadith). Overwhelming representation of the Deobandi sect is consistent with the sectarian distribution of the madrasa system in Pakistan.78 The Ahle Hadith/Salaﬁ is a puritanical minority sect in Pakistan that is close to the Saudi brand of Wahhabi Islam.79 As stated earlier, one of the main goals of the ICRD programme was to integrate principles of religious tolerance, co-existence and human rights into the madrasa curriculum, in order to empower the participants to own the discourse on human rights and peace, and to tackle tendencies towards intolerance and fear. Past reform movements have focused more on modernising the madrasa system by introducing secular sciences. Introduction of concepts of peace, tolerance, human rights into the curriculum was not clearly articulated, and there were hardly any training programmes offered to madrasas that directly introduced Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 1146 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci Figure 1. Introduction of Islamic principles and values of peace and human rights. Note. Source: Salam Institute for Peace and Justice, ‘Evaluation of ICRD’s Madrasa Reform Project in Pakistan’, unpublished report (Washington, DC: 2008). these themes. ICRD’s programme included peace education and human rights training to madrasa leaders and administrators by grounding the principles of tolerance, co-existence and rights in the Islamic tradition and Islamic texts. Scholars and practitioners, which included women and non-Muslims as well as members of different sects and schools of thought, were speciﬁcally chosen to address these topics. Utilising Islamic values, principles, verses from the Quran and Hadith as well as historical examples as the basis of dialogue, distinguished this programme from many others. All experts who worked with these madrasa teachers conﬁrmed that discovering the roots and basis of human rights in Islamic culture and civilisation was the main framework used by the lecturers to convince the madrasas to integrate the principles of human rights in their teaching or curriculum.80 This faith-based approach, based on respect, an understanding of the religious and cultural sensibilities of the madrasas and connected to Islamic principles and values of tolerance, human rights and peacemaking to issues that relate to their daily concerns, provided space to discuss current issues, fears and concerns regarding madrasas in Pakistan, and were among the strengths of the programme. Obviously, this is a very limited sample, and the authors do not argue that ‘experts’ were able to convince madrasa leaders to change their curriculum. Still, based on the teachers’ interviews and the experts’ interviews, the authors found out there were a certain number of participants who integrated the basic concepts of human rights into their teaching in the madrasa. This does not mean that the formal curriculum of the madrasa has been modiﬁed or changed as this requires a more systematic approach, which includes different segments of the educational system in Pakistan, including but not limited to the Madrasa Boards (Wafaq). In fact, this was not the intention of the project as indicated in the article and the ICRD project itself. However, in order to expand its impact, ICRD has been coordinating and facilitating meetings between the various leading Madrasa Boards (Wafaq-ul Madaris, Tanzeem-ul-Madaris), the ministry of education and other government representatives in order to address the issue of mainstreaming the curriculum and integrating the madrassa into the Pakistani public school system. However, due to the scope of this article, such efforts are not reported or addressed here. Yet, it is important to note that the authors found promoting religious tolerance, human rights awareness and dialogue were the most important concepts that participants have been introduced to during the course of the programme.81 Many of the participants stated that Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 The International Journal of Human Rights 1147 after the workshops (both immediately after the workshop completed and in a follow-up survey after two years of the ﬁrst workshop), they became more open to meeting with others, their perception of other sects and religious communities has changed, and they have a better understanding of the West and the US. Engaging the madrasa administrators and teachers in the design of the programme, as well as giving them the responsibility to make the necessary institutional changes to include these themes in the education system both added to the ownership of the program and empowered the participants to becoming more active in these areas. Indeed, 61.4 per cent of the survey participants felt that the ICRD programme empowered them by increasing their knowledge related to tolerance, dialogue and rights. More importantly, 78.9 per cent of the participants felt that inclusion of concepts of peace, tolerance and human rights into the curriculum was the most effective outcome of their participation in the programme. Indeed, 98 per cent of the survey participants felt that they ‘better understand the role of Islam in promoting religious tolerance and dialogue’ and 59.6 per cent of them stated that after their participation in the programme they have worked to teach and encourage others to teach Islamic principles and practices of interreligious/intercultural dialogue, human rights, women’s issues and conﬂict resolution. This number is consistent with the 59.6 per cent of the participants that indicated they have attended various follow-up meetings as a result of their commitment to working on issues of human rights, intercultural/interreligious tolerance and curriculum development. Quoting a Quranic verse supporting dialogue, one of the interviewees, for instance, confessed that in the history of Ahl-e Hadith they never left their schools to go to other groups or faith meetings, but after attending the programme, participants went back to classes and began talking about these issues with their students.82 Employing a more peaceful interpretation that recognises the humanity of others and respecting their rights was one of the consequences observed by the authors. As stated by one of the resources persons: ‘the teacher can focus on the war and qital [ﬁghting], but also there are sources of peace and dialogue in Islam that can be shared with the students: the peaceful interpretation.’83 For example, reinterpretation of the Quranic verse of ‘Wala AL Zalin’ – ‘Those who went astray’ – in surat al-Fateha is a case in point. Interviewees noted that the verse was often used to refer to other sects. However, participants shared with us that after attending the workshops they ‘stopped referring to the other sects as zallin [those who went astray].’84 Sheik Mohammad Razin (a well known head of a local madrasa) also admitted that ‘after the training I issued a statement to all faculty in the madrasa to stop teaching extreme narratives about the other sects.’85Another resource person noted: ‘I learned that when we are teaching we shouldn’t be criticizing other religions and we need to teach more about inter-religious understanding and harmony.’86 Participants also felt that they had learned to address or discuss global issues and bring them to class. Additionally, more than 70 per cent of the participants shared their willingness to do the follow-up activities and apply their learning from the training, and that they would choose to work on teaching and encouraging others to teach Islamic principles and practices of interreligious/intercultural dialogue, human rights, democracy, women’s issues and conﬂict resolution if there was an opportunity. Despite the fact that any attitudinal survey is a ‘self reporting instrument,’ nevertheless, it is clear that the various training workshops carried out by ICRD were perceived by the teachers as beneﬁcial in producing certain changes in perception, regarding the link between Islam, peace and tolerance, and the need to utilise an interactive approach towards teaching. Obviously, surveys cannot capture the behavioural aspects or to what extent such changes are sustained in a constantly shifting conﬂict reality such as Pakistan. 1148 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 Improving relations with ‘the ‘other’ Often in segregated communities, dehumanisation of the ‘other’ facilitates human rights abuses and violence towards the other. Therefore, recognition of the humanity of the ‘other’ is an important component of human rights promotion and education. Pakistani society is quite segregated along sectarian, religious, ethnic or ideological lines. There is hardly any contact between different groups. This segregation contributes to the conﬂict and human rights abuses by keeping communities uninformed, misinformed and deepening negative images. Tension and stereotyping characterise the relations between different groups. Indeed, the Shia community in Pakistan is increasingly being targeted by militant organizations and bombers.87 Especially in the madrasa context there are no opportunities or safe spaces to meet others and learn more about their beliefs, their needs and experiences. On the contrary, as stated by some of the interviewees, there are elements of hatred and intolerance towards ‘others’, especially the US and the West in the Pakistani society, which are also reﬂected in madrasas. This intolerance particularly impacts the nonMuslim communities of Pakistan such as Hindus and Christians. According to Bishop Samuel two incidents of ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan indicate the seriousness of the problem of not recognizing the other. In one incident, a Hindu man was killed, and in another incident a Christian person was arrested despite fake accusation. In reaction to these incidents madrasa teachers contributed to the ‘mob mentality’ that resulted in the lynching of these people. ‘Even the Christian priests reacted emotionally after these events of lynching.’88 These incidents make it clear that teachers in madrasas have an important role in spreading tolerance and human rights. For that reason how these principles of tolerance, human rights and interfaith dialogue are integrated into the classroom is of critical importance. As stated by Bishop Samuel, interfaith work is only one aspect of ‘recognizing the other’89 and promoting the rights of minorities as a central component of human rights. In support of such assumptions, one of the main strategies adopted by the ICRD programme was to expose participants to different points of view by bringing them together in a safe environment to discuss their challenges, learn about each other’s beliefs and work together. Therefore workshops were designed to provide such space. For example, they allowed the Shia, Deobandis and Christians to work together. Historical examples and Islamic texts, such as Quranic verses, Sunna and Hadith, as well as rational arguments based on facts that promote respect for human rights, each other’s needs, dialogue, tolerance and understanding, were also introduced during these workshops to foster understanding and dialogue between different sects. The programme also facilitated visits to mosques from different sects, in addition to bringing together teachers and administrators, by inviting guest speakers. These meetings were for many participants their ﬁrst encounter with the ‘other’. Combined with a training programme rooted in their religio-cultural tradition, this allowed participants to correct their misperceptions, develop a better understanding of each other’s tradition and to discover their commonalities. Despite its shortcomings, the programme seems to have had direct impact on individuals and contributed to building relationships between different schools of thought, Shia and Sunni, and Muslims and non-Muslims as well as improving relations between genders. For example, interviewees stressed that after the programme’s workshops, many of the participants have worked to teach and encourage others to teach Islamic principles and practices of interreligious/intercultural dialogue, human rights, women’s issues and conﬂict resolution. The next sections will look speciﬁcally at how these workshops have contributed to the certain changes in perceptions and in some cases behaviours towards non-Muslims and other sects, and created an awareness of women’s rights and issues respectively. The International Journal of Human Rights 1149 Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 Relations between Muslims and non-Muslims One of the main objectives of the ICRD programme was to engage madrasa leaders in order to change their negative perceptions towards non-Muslims (Hindus, Christians) and the West. Often, these relations have been strained due to the political climate between India and Pakistan, especially over Kashmir. For that reason, the programme has incorporated themes that promote inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue, and invited non-Muslim speakers to address the participants. Although any endeavour that aims to change negative perceptions is a longterm one, the programme has achieved considerable success with certain participants of their programmes. Participants conﬁrmed the programmes they have attended focused on interfaith harmony. There were lectures that urged that differences and hatred should be reduced. There were visits to churches to know about their faith/practices,90 where they met and talked with non-Muslims. For many participants, this was the ﬁrst time they met a Christian. Muslim participants were interested in learning about the Christians and asked questions. As a result of this experience, participants discovered that meeting the ‘other’ is important and positive. This was an important step, as stated by Rahman, ‘inviting Christians to madrasas and listening to them had never happened before.’ 91 These ﬁndings were supported by survey respondents: 52.6 per cent of the participants felt that the most effective outcome of the programme was the change of negative perceptions about non-Muslims and Western society and culture. This is consistent with the responses regarding the most effective features of the programme, where 61.4 per cent of the participants felt that encouraging dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims in the community has been one of the most effective features of the programme. Furthermore, 59.6 per cent of the survey participants indicated that as a result of their participation in the programme, they have started teaching and encouraged others to teach Islamic principles and practices of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue; 43.9 per cent of them indicated they have organized seminars and invited other scholars and non-Muslim members of the community to talk about co-existence and peace among others. Interviews also supported these survey responses. One participant conveyed the story of how a Hindu shopkeeper in Noshki and his brother were abducted, and how the Muslim Ulema played a role in their rescue.92 Another said: We became aware of our perceptions of Jews and Christians, and their perceptions of us, and also focused on what role media plays in shaping our perceptions of others. We wouldn’t get rid of wrong perceptions of each other, until we talked to each other. The Prophet (PBUH) also practiced dialogue to win hearts, but now people are converted into other faiths by force. And this resulted in a strong reaction from the people who are being forced and one such example is of a strong reaction from our side (Muslims). For example, one segment in the West is forcing a violent reaction from us, only to prove that we are intolerant. The USA is the third biggest nation in terms of funding to Pakistan, but still people of Pakistan hate them. We people believe that the majority of the American people are innocent, but still one segment inside America doesn’t want peace, and only due to that we hate them.93 The ICRD programme also seems to have contributed to the participants’ awareness of the crucial role media plays in providing information relating to different people and their cultures,94 and encouraged a more critical approach to media reports in newspapers or broadcast news. Participation in these programmes seems to have impacted relations in a positive way too. This indicates that the programme was able to create a willingness to learn more about other religious traditions, which is a very new and encouraging development. This view is supported by one of the madrasa teachers at the Islamic University who acknowledged that: 1150 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci There is no mention of Jews or Christians in the entire curriculum used by Madrasa at all. How can Muslim students not know anything about these religions? To understand Islam one has to understand these people of the book.95 The authors observed that some of the members of the programme continued to interact with non-Muslims after the programme. For example one of the focus group participants stated: Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 We used to hate other religions, but we learned about Christians and we did not care for them. But after visiting their church and learning more about their lives, we established a relationship with a Christian neighbor from Karachi and visited his house when a relative died. Before, people did not want to shake hands with them.96 This was also supported by the answer to the question of whether participants have visited other participants in non-Muslim communities, which found that 80 per cent of the participants have visited non-Muslims after the programmes,97 and 61.4 per cent of the participants feel they are committed to staying involved with issues of dialogue. These participants insisted that: We spread the message in our madrasa that not every white man (British) is our enemy but they have politicians who exploit the situation and spread violence and negative images of Islam. We also spread this into the general public through mosques.98 These results become more important, especially since there is a lack of opportunity to meet Westerners and non-Muslims in the Pakistani context, and it suggests that the programme impacted the perceptions and willingness of the participants to work on the issues of dialogue and coexistence. These personal testimonies and comments express that there have been some behavioural and perceptual changes regarding Westerners and other non-Muslims, and that there has been some attempt to implement these changes in the madrasa and other social contexts. However, it is not clear how these are being implemented in the madrasas as a system or structure. The teachers could not give us examples or concrete evidence about how their classes or their curriculum changed.99 This issue is very important to the sustainability of these changes. Without any concrete evidence of change in the course material, how can this change be systematised and sustained? Nevertheless, it is important to note that these individual behavioural changes took place in a difﬁcult political reality and in conﬂict zones. Commitment of the participants to the programme, which was evident in their insistence on coming to the focus group discussions despite death threats, shows that they are serious, willing to take risks, and that they still want to work on tolerance and dialogue. Further, it is clear that they wanted the organisers to focus more on human rights and religious/intercultural dialogue. These testimonies of personal and behavioural changes are a result of the meeting with the foreign envoys and exposure to the ‘other.’ Improved relations between different sects The ICRD programme aimed at providing a safe space for participants from different sects to come together and discuss various issues, thus fulﬁlling an important function in Pakistani society. This exposure strategy aimed at providing contact between teachers and administrators from different sects by inviting them to the same workshops. For example, trainings allowed Shia and Deobandi to work together, which was a new approach Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 The International Journal of Human Rights 1151 for the participants. Historical examples and Islamic texts, such as Quranic verses, Sunna and Hadith, as well as rational arguments based on facts that promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding, were also introduced during these workshops to foster understanding and dialogue between different sects. The programme also facilitated visits to mosques from different sects in addition to bringing together teachers and administrators and by inviting guest speakers. It is clear that the programme positively inﬂuenced the sectarian relations on a micro individual level of intervention. Exposure to other sects, spending time with them and interacting with each other seems to have helped dispel negative stereotypes, myths and images on interpersonal and individual levels. The programme provided a rare space for the teachers from different sects to gather and exchange their views about their madrasa and their sects as well. Such an opportunity contributed to the correction of misperceptions among teachers from different sects (mazahib) about each others’ religious ideology or theological differences. As a result, teachers and administrators were able to stay, eat and pray together. This was an important step because as stated by one of the interviewees in Pakistan: Before this programme, these religious from various sects could not sit together. One example is that almost a decade ago Shias were considered non-Muslims by people from other sects of Islam. There was an objection to the way Shia pray, and this debate happened between one Shia and one Sunni participant. At that time the Shia participant decided to offer his prayer in front of them to show others the way they pray. After this the Sunnis found out that the way Shia and Sunni pray is almost the same, which helped foster better understanding between the two sects.100 This sentiment was echoed by other focus group participants as well. For example, a participant stated that one of the important ideas they learned from the workshop was that dialogue with other sects is better than debates and tension with them.101 Another participant admitted it changed his personal ways of dealing with these issues of sectarian differences. Furthermore, according to our survey results all the participants agreed that promoting religious tolerance and dialogue was the most important concept they were exposed to when participating in the programme. Again this was followed by tolerance of other’s opinion. Some of the participants organised meetings and workshops with other sects and learned more about their views.102 Again, it is safe to assume that the intervention programme was also successful in conveying the importance of working with others to face the problems in their communities as 77.2 per cent considered this to be one of the very important concepts they were exposed to during the programme implementation. Furthermore, survey results indicate that promoting human rights, religious tolerance and dialogue ranks highest among the most important concepts the participants were exposed to. Clearly the programme impacted participant’s perceptions of the other sects and contributed to the transformation of negative images. The programme also had an impact on how differences between sects were taught in madrasas as some of the participants stopped referring to the members of the other sects as ‘those who have gone astray.’ Women’s issues and women’s rights One of the central issues in Pakistan has been the human rights abuses towards women and girls. Due to the cultural practice of strict segregation of sexes, women and men are often separated. Although there are madrasas for girls, madrasa administrators have not focused on improving their quality. Furthermore, madrasas for boys did not focus on issues related to Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 1152 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci women and the rights of women according to Islam. Within this context the programme initially focused on boys’ madrasas. Indeed, it was not possible to include training programmes for girls in the ﬁrst phases of the programme, because madrasa leaders were suspicious and did not feel that it was necessary to include girls’ madrasas. Including women’s rights from an Islamic perspective and bringing historical examples going back to the era of the Prophet’s life as well as relating stories about the women companions of the Prophet allowed the organisers to initiate a discussion on these important issues. Moreover, participants were taken to non-religious organisations such as Awarat that deal with women’s rights issues. Consequently, over the course of the programme this perception and attitudes of excluding girls’ madrasas seem to have changed. Increasingly madrasa leaders demanded training for girls’ madrasas in addition to boys’ madrasas, and the local organiser was invited to conduct two training sessions for girls’ madrasas. Various inﬂuential madrasas, including some of the madrasas that were initially opposed to training workshops for women, seem to be interested in offering trainings for women’s madrasas. The women’s madrasas that communicated an interest in participating in these workshops included the Jamia Taleem-ul-Quran Wal-Hadith Lilbinat, one of the largest and most inﬂuential AhleHadith women’s madrasas; the Jamia Ummul Qura, a large women’s madrasa in Faisalabad that provides leadership for 10 other madrasas; and other women’s madrasas in Baluchistan and the NWFP.103 This interest was even conveyed to American representatives who visited the program for monitoring purposes in April 2007.104 Because only a very small group of women were included in the training programmes and because of issues of security and cultural restrictions, the authors were not able to interview any female participants, nor visit any female madrasas. However, the authors were able to interview one of the female guest speakers to the training programmes who admitted: I was shocked to be invited to speak to these madrasa teachers and they were equally shocked to see me come to their program. They were exposed to non-Muslims in Pakistan and to women’s rights.105 Indeed, one of the observers of the training programme, Nicolas Schmidle, was also surprised to see a woman, ‘dressed in hot pink’, had arrived to give a lecture on the compatibility of liberalism and Adam Smith with Islam.106 It seems that the programme contributed to this change by both including topics on women’s issues, inviting women lecturers and creating a positive reputation for the organisers among madrasa administrators. The survey results supported the above statements in which 78.9 per cent of the participants felt women’s rights to be one of the most important concepts they were exposed during the programme, and 57.9 per cent felt that a change of perception about women’s education and role in Muslim society was the one of the most effective outcomes of their participation in the programme. Our resource persons and focus group participants also conﬁrmed the increase in demands for training programmes for women’s madrasas, which were almost nonexistent before. Furthermore, participants were also reported to have agreed to carry out more research on sensitive issues such as gender and human rights.107 Some participants seem to have taken a more constructive role in policy issue in this area as well. For instance: When parliament issued new rules on women’s rights, the madrasas began shouting, but in training we proposed that they draft a more scientiﬁc and well researched response and discuss it. They also sent it to the parliament and it was discussed and gained signiﬁcant attention from politicians. They gave the advantages and disadvantages. Your role as madrasa is to perform such duty of giving a learned Islamic response to such issues. Parliament members do not know religion.108 The International Journal of Human Rights 1153 Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 Conclusion This article should be viewed as an exploratory study that points to the importance of investing in madrasa teachers training in Pakistan, due to the lack of resources and opportunities allocated to professional development this group in particular and to the madrasa system in Pakistan in general. In addition, the article aims to break the stereotypes or misperceptions that madrasa systems and teachers oppose human rights values and concepts. This article argues that human rights education in key local educational institutions is critical for contributing to the process of creating sustainable peace. In Pakistan, madrasas play important social, economic and educational roles. The programme of training of madrasa teachers undertaken by ICRD attempted to contribute to fostering better relations between different sects and religious groups by introducing Islamic sources of human rights, tolerance, dialogue and peace building. It is clear that it has had certain considerable outputs and direct short-term impact on individual participants’ views and attitudes. The ﬁndings in this study conﬁrm the conclusions or statements made by several scholars who supported the hypothesis that human rights values and principles are compatible with Islamic religious teachings, too.109 However, this study also emphasises that in order for human rights to be owned and implemented, it is necessary to frame it from within the religio-cultural context of the community. In the case of Muslim communities, human rights education must be framed within the Islamic framework and principles. Also, this study highlights that for human rights education programmes in Muslim educational institutions to be effective it is crucial to identify a proper entry point to allow the building of credibility and trust with the teachers. In the case of the madrasa programme, pedagogical concerns and improving teaching effectiveness were the main access points for introducing human rights education. Also, framing human rights education within the Islamic teachings based on the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet was indispensible for its effectiveness. Furthermore, this study shows that linking human rights education training to the economic, political, professional, etc concerns and issues that participants face, rather than focusing exclusively on legal components, is essential for the success of these programmes in the context of the Muslim community. The madrasa programme explored in this paper was successful in linking human rights education to the daily concerns of its participants. This was another component that contributed to its relative effectiveness. As indicated earlier, there is no single intervention programme that can succeed in reforming the madrasa system in Pakistan or any other Muslim country for that matter. Such change requires many local and international forces and factors. Thus, it is unrealistic for ICRD or any other organisation or entity to claim its capacity to solely change the madrasa system, but their efforts can contribute towards that desired outcome. Nevertheless, the speciﬁc ICRD programme also had various limitations and there is much room for improvement. Some of these limitations included: (a) limited institutional curriculum change, because many of the participants did not have the authority to inﬂuence their madrasas; (b) major security concerns affected the impact of the intervention in such context; (c) overcoming the Western identity label attached to ICRD in Pakistan limits its ability to reach out further into the madrasa environment; (d) the lack of local partner NGOs or a local ofﬁce also limit ICRD capacity to affect the system or be sustainable; and (e) lack of capacity building for local staff or trainers. Despite the above limitations, ICRD has moved into attempts to institutionalise its training programme through local universities, a signiﬁcant step in the direction of long-term impact. Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 1154 M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci This article does not claim that there were actual systematic and structure changes on the ground inside the schools and curriculum as a result of ICRD intervention. Also, it does not claim that the self-reported behavioural changes among teachers were empirically veriﬁed. Rather it focuses on a set of perception and attitudinal changes, which took place among Madrasa teachers as a result of a series of training workshop conducted by an outside group of experts. Furthermore, this article does not claim that all these reported changes in perception have actually translated into behavioural changes in the classroom. No veriﬁcation for such changes could have been done in such context. Thus, the article points out that based on participants self-reporting, there were certain changes that took place in their individual perceptions and attitudes regarding the need to incorporate human rights values and concepts into their curriculum. In conclusion, this case study illustrates that human rights education in the Muslim community context that relies on Islamic madrasa education is possible through capacity-building for teachers as well as administrators. Engaging such local community leaders in education for human rights and diversity is an important step towards peace and stability in all Muslim societies. Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. See Amnesty International Report, The State of the World’s Human Rights (London: Amnesty International, 2008). Edy Kaufman and Mohammed Abu-Nimer ‘Bridging Conﬂict Transformation and Human Rights: Lessons from the Israeli –Palestinian Peace Process, in Human Rights and Conﬂict: Exploring the Links between Rights, Law and Peacebuilding, eds. Jeffrey Helsing and Julie Mertus (Washington DC:USIP Press, 2006). Mohammed Abu Nimer and Kadayifci-Orellana, ‘Muslim Peace Building Actors in Africa and the Balkans’, Peace and Change 33, no. 4 (2008), 549–581. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Nàim and Francis M. Deng (eds.) Human Rights in Africa: CrossCultural Perspectives (Washington, DC: Brookings Institute, 1990). Kaufman and Abu-Nimer, ‘Bridging Conﬂict Transformation and Human Rights’. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Towards an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law (Syracuse University Press: New York, 1990). For more information on the evaluation methodology see Madrasa Report at Salam Institute Website at http://www.salaminstitute.org (accessed 25 February 2011); also see Nimer and Kadayifci-Orellana, op. cit. Johan Galtung, ‘Violence, Peace and Peace Research’, Journal of Peace Research 6, no. 3 (1969), 167 –191. See, Edward E Azar, The Management of Protracted Social Conﬂict: Theory and Cases (Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1990); John Burton (ed.), Conﬂict: Human Needs Theory (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990); Donna Hicks, ‘Conﬂict Resolution and Human Rights Education: Broadening the Agenda’ in Human Rights Education for the Twenty First Century, eds George J. Andreapoulos and Claude Richard Pierre (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997), 80–95. See J. Burton, Conﬂict: Resolution and Prevention (London: Macmillan, 1990). For example see Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols and Rome Statutes Gender Provisions. Ghalib Galant and Victoria Maloka (UN rapporteurs), ‘National Human Rights Institutions, Conﬂict Management and Peacebuilding in Africa’, Technical Seminar Report Center for Conﬂict Resolution, Cape Town, 2004, http://www.ccr.uct.ac.za/ﬁleadmin/template/ccr/pdf/19._ NHRI_Report-D4.pdf (accessed on 20 February 2009). Michelle Parlevliet, ‘Bridging the Divide: exploring the Relationship between Human Rights and Conﬂict Management’, Track Two 11, no. 1 (2002): 28, cited in Julie Mertus and Jeffrey W. Helsing ‘Introduction: Exploring the Intersection Between Human Rights and Conﬂict in Human Rights and Conﬂict’, in Human Rights and Conﬂict: Exploring the Links Between The International Journal of Human Rights 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 1155 Rights, Law and Peacebuilding, eds. Julie Mertus and Jeffrey Helsing (Washington, DC: USIP Press), 4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1994. Julie Mertus and Jeffrey Helsing (eds.), Human Rights and Conﬂict: Exploring the Links Between Rights, Law and Peacebuilding (Washington, DC: USIP Press), 4. Ellen L. Lund, ‘Understanding Human Rights Violations in Armed Conﬂict’ in Human Rights and Conﬂict: Exploring the Links Between Rights, Law and Peacebuilding, eds. Julie Mertus and Jeffrey Helsing (Washington, DC: USIP Press), 28. Mohammed Abu Nimer and S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana, ‘Evaluation of ICRD’s Madrasa Evaluation Program’, Salam Institute Report September 2008. Tania Bernath, Tracey Holland and Paul Martin ‘How can human rights education contribute to international peace-building?’, Current Issues in Comparative Education 2, no. 1 (1999): 14, http://www.tc.columbia.edu/cice/Archives/2.1/21bernath_holland_martin.pdf (accessed 25 February 2011). A.C. Vergara and J.V. Estevez, ‘Justice, impunity and the transition to democracy: A Challenge for Human Rights Education’, Journal of Moral Education 23, no. 3 (1994): 273–284. Bernath, Holland and Martin, op. cit., 15. Bernath, Holland and Martin, op. cit.,14. Bernath, Holland and Martin, op. cit.,16. Bernath, Holland and Martin, op. cit.,15. A.A. An-Na’im, ‘Islam and Human Rights: Beyond the Universality Debate’, 94 ASIL Proceedings (2000): 95– 101; 95, http://www.law.emory.edu/aannaim/pdﬁles/dwnld13.pdf (accessed 15 September 2009). Ann Elizabeth Mayer, ‘The Islam and Human Rights Nexus: Shifting Dimensions’, Muslim World Journal of Human Rights 4, no. 1 (2007), http://www.bepress.com/mwjhr/vol4/iss1/ art4 (accessed 25 February 2011). Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, ‘Mainstreaming Human Rights in the Curriculum of the Faculty of Islamic Law’, Muslim World Journal of Human Rights 2, no. 1 (2005): 1, http://www. bepress.com/mwjhr/vol2/iss1/art12 (accessed 25 February 2011); see also Peyman Habibullah, ‘Islam and Sources of Human Rights’ in Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights: Collected Papers of the Second International Conference on Human Rights 17–18 May 2003 (Qom, Iran: Moﬁd University Center For Human Rights Studies). For example see A. A. An-Na’im, Towards an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights and International Law (New York: Syracuse University Press, 1990); M. Monshipouri, Islamism, Secularism and Human Rights in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: L. Rienner Publishers, 1998); M. A. Baderin, International Human Rights and Islamic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); A. A. Mayer, Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, 4th edn (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2006); D. Arzt, ‘The Application of International Human Rights Law in Islamic States’, Human Rights Quarterly 12 (1990): 202 –230; S. A. Abu-Sahlieh, ‘Human Rights Conﬂicts between Islam and the West’, Third World Legal Studies (1990): 257 –284; A. Sajoo, ‘Islam and Human Rights: Congruence or Dichotomy’, Temple International and Comparative Law Journal 4, (1990): 23–34; B. Tibi, ‘Islamic Law/Shari’a, Human Rights, Universal Morality and International Relations’, Human Rights Quarterly 16 (1994): 277–299; F. Halliday, ‘Relativism and Universalism in Human Rights: The Case of the Islamic Middle East’, Political Studies, pp. 152 –167; H. Bielefeldt, ‘Muslim Voices in the Human Rights Debate’, Human Rights Quarterly 17 (1995): 587 –617; J. Morgan-Foster, ‘A New Perspective on the Universality Debate: Reverse Moderate Relativism in the Islamic Context’, ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law, no. 35 (2003): 35–67; A. Chase, ‘The Tail and the Dog: Constructing Islam and Human Rights in Political Context’ in Human Rights in the Arab World, eds. A. Chase and A. Hamzawy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), 21 –36. Mashood A. Baderin, ‘Islam and the Realization of Human Rights in the Muslim World: A Reﬂection on Two Essential Approaches and Two Divergent Perspectives’, Muslim World Journal of Human Rights 4, no.1 (2007), http://www.bepress.com/mwjhr/vol4/iss1/art5 (accessed 25 February 2011). Recep Senturk, ‘Sociology of Rights: “I Am Therefore I Have Rights”: Human Rights in Islam between Universalistic and Communalistic Perspectives’, Muslim World Journal of 1156 30. 31. 32. 33. Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci Human Rights 2, no. 1(2005): 29, http://www.bepress.com/mwjhr/vol2/iss1/art11 (accessed 25 February 2011). Ibid., 3. Ibid., 7. Ibid., for universalistic and communitarian perspectives on human rights from an Islamic perspective; also see Peyman, op. cit. For more on human dignity in Islam see Rahim Nobahar, ‘Religion and Human Dignity’ in Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights: Collected Papers of the Second International Conference on Human Rights, 17 –18 May 2003 (Qom, Iran: Moﬁd University Center for Human Rights Studies, 2003). Senturk, op. cit. Rahim Yar Abbasi (n.d.). ‘Educational Links Between Muslim Countries’, cited in A. Abdalla et al., Improving the Quality of Islamic Education in Developing Countries: Innovative Approaches (Washington, DC: CAII, 2006), http://www.creativeassociatesinternational.com/ CAIIStaff/Dashboard_GIROAdminCAIIStaff/DashBoard_CAIIAdminDatabase/Publications/ Abdula%20paper%20FINAL%20J-22-06%20_4_-pdf (accessed 3 March 2011). Abbasi, op. cit. Abbasi, op. cit Fazlur Rahman, Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984): 31. Ibid. Ibid. Also, for more information on Islamic education system, see George Makdisi, The Rise of the Colleges: Institutions of Learning in Islam and in the West (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1981). Abdalla, Abu Nimer, Nasser, Kadayifci el-Kilani and Kunkle (2006) ‘Implementing Approaches to Improved Quality of Islamic Education in Developing Nations’, Creative Associates International, Inc. (CAII): 4. Makdisi 1981, xiii. Wasim Ahmad, ‘The Syllabus and Mode of Teaching in Madrassas: An Appraisal’ in Teacher Education in Turmoil, eds. Rajandra Pal Singh and Gopal Rana (Sterling Publishers: New Delhi, 2002), 17. Jamal Malik, ed., Madrasas in South Asia: Teaching Terror? (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), 4. For more information about history of madrasas see Jamal Malik. For more information on the reasons of decline see Abdalla et al., op. cit., 5. See Malik, op. cit. See Abdalla et al., op. cit.; Malik, op. cit. Dzuhayatin, op. cit., p. 1 Malik, op. cit. Abu-Nimer and Kadayifci-Orellana, op. cit. Tariq Rahman, ‘Madrasas: The Potential for Violence in Pakistan’, in Madrasas in South Asia: Teaching Terror? Jamal Malik, ed. (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), 61. Robert Looney, ‘Reforming Pakistan’s Educational System: The Challenge of the Madrassas’, The Journal of Social, Political and Econonic Studies 28, no. 3 (2003): 257–274: 262. For a more nuanced and multi-dimensional analysis of madrasas in South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular see Malik, op. cit. See also Abdalla, Amr, Mohammed Abu Nimer, Ilham Nasser, Ayse Kadayifci, Lynn Kunkle and Saber el Kilani 2004. Implementing Approaches to Improved Quality of Islamic Education in Developing Countries Creative Associates Internationa Inc. Mumtaz Madrassa Ahmad, Education in Pakistan and Bangladesh, at http://www.globalwebpost. com/farooqm/study_res/bangladesh/mumtaz_madrassah.pdf (accessed 23 February 2011). Ibid. Links between militarism and madrasas are beyond the scope of this article. For more information on this topic see Tariq Rahman, op. cit; Robert Looney, ‘Reforming Pakistan’s Educational System: The Challenge of the Madrassas’, The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies 28, no. 3 (2003): 257– 274; Murtaza Ali Shah, ‘Madrassahs: Breeding Grounds of Terrorism’, The Asian OutlookCom, cited in Robert Looney, ‘Reforming Pakistan’s Educational System: The Challenge of the Madrassas’, Insania 13, no. 1 (2008), The International Journal of Human Rights 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 1157 151 –164; O. N. Mebrotra, ‘Madrassa in Pakistan: The Chief Promoter of Islamic Militancy and Terrorism,’ Strategic Analysis 23, no.11 (2000); Pakistan: Afadrassas, Ertrenis,n and ihe Iﬁligary (Brussels: International Crisis Group, July 29, 2002). Alastair Lawson ‘Pakistan’s Islamic schools in the spotlight’ BBC News (14 July 2005, http:// news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4683073.stm (accessed 1 May 2008) Ibid. International Crisis Group Pakistan: Madrasas, Extremism and the Militarism ICG Asia Report No 36 (29 July 2002), 1. Suba Chandran ‘Madrasas in Pakistan-II: Breeding Ground for Islamic Militants’, at http:// www.ipcs.org/issues/articles/315-pak-suba.html (accessed 25 February 2011). For more information see Mumtaz Ahmad, Madrassa Education in Pakistan and Bangladesh, at http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm/study_res/bangladesh/mumtaz_madrassah.pdf (accessed 20 August 2008). Ibid., 104. Ibid., 108. Ibid.; also interviews with teachers and principals and observation of one madrasa in Islamabad and Lahore (May 2008). Focus group Islamabad 10 May 2008. Rahman, op. cit., for an analysis on the correlation between poverty, underdevelopment and rise of radicalism in madrasas. See Ahmad, op. cit; Looney, op. cit; Christopher Candland ‘Pakistan’s Recent Experience in Reforming Islamic Education’, in Madrasas in South Asia: Teaching Terror? Jamal Malik, ed. (London and New York: Routledge, 2008). See Amnesty International Report 2009, 231. Most of the students of these madrasas have no contacts with other madrasas and lack any exposure to the outside world, except what their teacher’s views of the world (interviews Madrasa teacher, Islamabad, 2008). For more information on the role of madrasas in sectarian conﬂicts see Saleem H. Ali, ‘Pakistani Madrasas and Rural Underdevelopment: An Empirical Study of Ahmedpour East’ Madrasas in South Asia: Teaching Terror? Jamal Malik, ed. (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), 102–112. For more information on madrasa reforms in Pakistan see Abu-Nimer and Kadayifci-Orellana, op. cit.; Khalid Rahman and Syed Rashad Bukhari, ‘Religious Education Institutions (REIs) in The Muslim World’ 96, no. 2 (2006): 323 –339; 323; A.H. Nayyar,‘Madrasah Education Frozen in Time’ in Education and the State: Fifty Years of Pakistan Pervez Hoodbhoy ed.(Delhi: Oxford University Press: 2006). Focus Group 2 Discussions 8 May 2008, Islamabad. Interview notes. The data presented here is based on on-the-ground observations, interviews, surveys and focus groups conducted by the authors of this paper in Pakistan during May 2008, as well as the archival data of ICRD. The authors conducted seven focus groups, 57 surveys and 15 interviews in Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan to evaluate the impact and outcomes of the Madrasa Reform Program undertaken by ICRD. Participants of these surveys, interviews and focus groups were chosen among the madrasa teachers and administrators as well as guest speakers who had attended the programme. Based on the objectives of the programme, the authors prepared semi-structured interview questions and survey questions. Surveys were conducted in Urdu, translated into English and analyzed with SPSS. For the summary of report and more information on methodology see www.salaminstitute.org. ICRD 18-month Report. These numbers are based on the interviews with ICRD staff and ICRD reports. For a full list of events see Annex F, Table F1 at the end this Report. See ICG Report no. 36 p.1. ICG Report no. 36 ft. 3. Interviews with eight Pakistani experts who worked with this programme, Islamabad, 2008. Abu Nimer, op. cit, Kadayifci-Orellana, op. cit. Interview with staff, Lahore, May 2008. Interview with two participants from Karachi, May 2008. Focus Group 1, Islamabad, May 2008. Ibid. 1158 86. 87. Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. M. Abu-Nimer and A. Kadayifci Interview with ahl al Hadith Madrasa leader, Lahore, May 2008. See for example Farooq, Umar, ‘Trouble Grows for Pakistan’s Shia Community’, Asharq Alawsat, 4 April 2009, http://www.aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=3&id=16368 (accessed 14 September 2009). Interview notes, Lahore 15 May 2008. Ibid. Focus Group 5, 16 May 2008 Islamabad. Interview Notes, Islamabad, May 2008. Focus Group 6, 16 May 2008. Focus Group 6, 16 May 2008. Focus Group 7, 16 May 2008. Focus Group 1, 8 May 2008. Focus Group 6 May 16, 2008. For more details, see Abu Nimer and Kadayifci-Orellana, op. cit. Focus Group 6, May 16, 2008. See the next section on Effectiveness of the Program in terms of integration of principles of peace, tolerance and coexistence into the curriculum. Interview with a resource person Islamabad, May 10, 2008. Focus Group 1, May 8, 2008. Interview with ICRD staff May 10, 2008. ICRD 18 month report Based on ICRD 18 month report, their female staff was even invited to visit various female madrasas including the Jamia Hafsa, run by the radical Red Mosque, before it was destroyed in the violent clash with the Pakistani government in July 2007. Interview with Asma Jahangir, Lahore, 12 May 2008. Nicholas Schmidle, ‘Reforming Pakistan’s ‘Dens of Terror’, January 22 2007, at http://www. truthdig.com/report/item/20070122_nicholas_schmidle_reforming_pakistans_dens_of_terror/ Interview Notes Islamabad, May 2008. Interview Notes. A. An-Na’im, Towards an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights and International Law (New York: Syracuse University Press, 1990); M. Monshipouri, Islamism, Secularism and Human Rights in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: L. Rienner Publishers, 1998); M. A. Baderin, International Human Rights and Islamic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); A. A. Mayer, Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, 4th ed, (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2006); D. Arzt, ‘The Application of International Human Rights Law in Islamic States’, Human Rights Quarterly12 (1990): 202–230; A. Sajoo, ‘Islam and Human Rights: Congruence or Dichotomy’, Temple International and Comparative Law Journal 4 (1990): 23 –34; B. Tibi, ‘Islamic Law/Shari’a, Human Rights, Universal Morality and International Relations’, Human Rights Quarterly 16 (1994): 277–299; H. Bielefeldt, ‘Muslim Voices in the Human Rights Debate’, Human Rights Quarterly 17 (1995): 587–617; J. Morgan-Foster, ‘A New Perspective on the Universality Debate: Reverse Moderate Relativism in the Islamic Context’, ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law 10, no. 35 (2003): 35–67; A. Chase, ‘The Tail and the Dog: Constructing Islam and Human Rights in Political Context’, in Human Rights in the Arab World, A. Chase and A. Hamzawy (eds.) (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), 21–36; S. Akhbarzadeand B. MacQueen, Islam and Human Rights in Practice: Perspectives Across the Ummah (Routledge Advances in Middle East and Islamic Studies) (New York: Routledge, 2008). Notes on contributors Mohammed Abu-Nimer is a full professor at American University’s School of International Service in International Peace and Conﬂict Resolution in Washington, DC. He is the director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute. Dr Abu-Nimer is also the founder and director of the Salam: Peacebuilding and Justice Institute, and the co-founder and co-editor of The Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. He has written, edited, and co-authored many books including: Peace-Building By, Between and Beyond Muslims and Evangelical Christians, Reconciliation, Coexistence, and Justice: Theory and Practice, Unity in Diversity: Interfaith Dialogue in the Middle East, and Peacebuilding and Nonviolence in Islam. The International Journal of Human Rights 1159 Downloaded by [mohammed bunimer] at 10:26 12 August 2011 S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana is one of the founding members and the associate director of Salam Institute for Peace and Justice and is an adjunct professor at the School of International Service at American University, Washington D.C. She is currently adjunct associate professor at the same institution. She is also currently working with United States Institute of Peace on various projects. She has authored Standing On an Isthmus: Islamic Narratives of War and Peace in the Palestinian Territories and co-authored the edited the volume, Anthology on Islam and Peace and Conﬂict Resolution in Islam: Precept and Practice. She has also written various book chapters and journal articles on mediation and peace building, religion and conﬂict resolution, Islamic approaches to war and peace, and Islam and nonviolence.