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Islamic Society (09 Mar 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)

“Madrasa Education is a Clear Violation of the Human Rights of Children”: Sultan Shahin asks UNHRC to make Muslim Countries Stick to their Pious Declarations



 By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

 U N Human Rights Council, 19th session March 2012 Geneva 27 February– 23 March 2012

 Agenda item 3: Promotion of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

 Oral statement by Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

 On behalf of United Schools International

 9 March 2012

 Madame Chairperson,

 The third annual report the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children (submitted to the Council in accordance with General Assembly resolution 65/197 on 13 January 2012), calls on the Member States to renew their commitments to step up efforts in protecting and promoting the rights of children.


But many states, particularly in the Muslim-majority countries, while paying vague lip service to these commitments, are not actually heeding the urges of the world community. Madrasa education given to millions of Muslim children, across the world, for instance, is one example.


Both the *Declarations emanating from Arab countries, Marrakesh 2010 and Cairo 2009, provided in the report, are full of high-sounding resolutions on protecting the rights of children. But it is wealthy Arab countries that fund the tens of thousands of madrasas running across the Muslim world. As practised today Madrasa Education is a clear violation of the human rights of children to equality, dignity and quality education. Along with funds, the petrodollar-rich Arab countries also provide the core curriculum and text books for these madrasas. This teaching provides basic grounding in an extremist religious outlook that keeps these children from interacting with other communities, even other Muslim sects, and thus deprives them of any possible opportunities for a normal life.


Most of the children admitted to these Islamic religious schools come from the poorest of the poor families. They are plucked out of their natural environment where they would have learned some skills necessary to survive as working adults. They are brainwashed in the madrasas by some semi-literate Mullahs and once their utility for attracting Arab funds earmarked for madrasa education is finished, they are literally thrown out on streets without any means or skills for survival. The wealthy and middle class Muslims do not send their children to madrasas, as they know that the only careers available to these children is to become low-paid Imams or Muezzins in village mosques. In some countries, like Pakistan, though, there is another option too. They can turn into suicidal human bombs, bringing some short-term prosperity to their impoverished families, but losing their own lives and killing scores of innocent men, women and children of other religions or other Islamic sects.


The madrasa educated have become easy prey to the terrorists because they have been given an education that neither values life in this world nor teaches them respect for other religions, and civilisations. Indeed, it teaches them to consider all verses of the Holy Quran as of universal significance, though the Quran is a compilation of situational verses, some of which came to provide instructions for those specific situations alone.


But nowhere in the world does the madrasa curriculum teach students to distinguish between the verses of universal and transitory significance like the ones that came during the defensive wars that Prophet Mohammad had to fight. Nor is the strong Quranic message of plural co-existence passed on to them in its right spirit.


 I would, therefore, urge the Council, to find some way to make countries stick to the promises and pious declarations they make to appear to be part of the comity of nations.  The Council should also reiterate the Durban Declaration’s goal of Dialogue among civilisations through education to all without any discrimination. Good quality education given to all students in Muslim societies would be conducive to both peace and prosperity of the world.



United Nations Webcast - UNIS, General Debate Item:3 (cont.), 27th meeting 19th Session 09 March 2012




No one can disagree with the conclusion of the third annual report the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children that “a renewed commitment of all actors is necessary to bring to life the vision of a world where children can be children and safely live, play, learn, develop their full potential, and make the most of all existing opportunities.” It is time the world community found a way of convincing the Islamic monarchies, republics and Muslim majority countries that their promises need to be kept and rights of children have to be looked after. If they do not have regard for international covenants that they have pledged to uphold, they should at least listen to the strong human rights content of the Quranic verses. Islam puts Huququl Ibaad (rights of all creation of God over us and our corresponding duties towards them) even above Huququl Allah (rights of Allah over us and our corresponding duties).


*The special representative’s report includes an Annex entitled: Political commitments by regional organizations and institutions to prevent and address violence against children in the framework of the process of follow-up to the recommendations of the United Nations Study on Violence against Children. This presents two declarations from Arab countries.



*1. Marrakesh Declaration adopted by Fourth High Level Conference on the Rights of the Child, December 2010

2. Cairo Declaration on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Islamic Jurisprudence. November 2009


URL:  http://newageislam.com/islamic-society/sultan-shahin,-editor,-new-age-islam/“madrasa-education-is-a-clear-violation-of-the-human-rights-of-children”--sultan-shahin-asks-unhrc-to-make-muslim-countries-stick-to-their-pious-declarations/d/6814


  • Thank you for posting the webcast! It definitely brings a little more clarity to the issues involved. It would appear that here we find a straightforward case of convincing the donors to insist along with the Quran Education, Some side subjects; For example, Sura Yasin, third part onwards only scientific issues are dealt with, God has created everything in pairs, for instance, the phenomena of reproduction & Growth in Agriculture, such as fruit trees, the sustenance of subterranean life, etc are dealt with.-
     A clear case of adding Biology & Zoology & other life Sciences to the curricula, The movements of the Sun & Moon in Sura Yasin, and the reference to their orbits, a clear case of introducing Planetary Sciences, Physics and Geography to the curricula The reference to the Honey Bee in Sura Nahl, Verses 68 & 69 - A clear case of bringing to the fore, knowledge & issues of how they are used in pollination and the application to the Agricultural Sciences, I am not aware if our brothers are aware that the enormous crops of Almond, Grapes, Oranges in California & elsewhere have only been feasible through extensive use of Honey Bees and their contributions as a vehicle for pollination and how the Agriculture Production could collapse due to the recent viral attack on the Honey Bee & the phenomenon known as “Bee Colony Collapse.”Again in Sura Yasin, the reference to the Ships & Boats “And similar vehicles”- a clear case of introducing curricula related to Marine engineering. In Sura Ale Imran, Ayat 27: “You cause the night to enter the day, and you cause the day to enter the night; and you bring the living out of the dead, and you bring the dead out of the living. And you give provision to whom, you will without account."  (27) Clearly is a case of introducing Geography, Astronomy, Science of evolution, to the curricula.
    The last part of the Sura Yasin deals with the Dairy Industry & its significance in Life & Economics, In Sura Ghashia, for example, “Afala Yanzaroona, ilal ibili Kaifa Khuleqat, Wal ilasSamaai Kaifa Rufeat, wa ilala jibaale kaifa nusebat, Wa ilal Arze kaifa sutehat , will clearly portend to having a case for Geography and Sciences.This is the line that we should take; and not merely criticize what is already being done!With Kind Regards,Mohammed Ali Rizvi Markham ON Canada

    By Mohammed Ali Rizvi - 4/16/2012 11:40:21 PM

  • The real character of the Muslims and the purpose of mosques can be seen in the realisation of the truth by Mr. Rizvi
    By Raihan Nezami - 4/6/2012 9:44:41 AM

  • Running a Madrasah or for that matter any establishment is not an easy task. Particularly so, in resource deprived countries & resource deprived communities.Try doing so yourself & see- funding, keeping discipline, commitment, health & hygiene issues, and of course, Learning the religious text!Any school for that matter provides a place for bonding, making new friends, exchanging ideas, sharing experiences, sharing in each others’ values in times of need & otherwise.The only objection as I see here is to the curriculum.

    It would be a better idea, to use the already established set-ups but go further to invigorate it by adding Libraries, Books, sports facilities, and more funding.In a Mosque in New Delhi, just passing by, at afternoon prayer time, I happened to check in, and there was a lunch in progress! I was heartily invited to join the Meal in very simple settings, to some lentils and bread. Never in my life have I had a mealso good with all the little ones sitting in rows around me.

    Even when there was not much to go round, the little hands kept offering me more & more of what food was available! As soon as it was over, some cleaned up the place some boys did the dishes, some served Water. Never will I ever forget that gathering! May God bless them all and their good Teachers!It is very easy to criticize but is there a Plan B for all these little guys in poor countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh?Kind RegardsMohammed Ali RizviMarkham ON Canada

    By Mohammed Ali Rizvi - 4/6/2012 7:13:46 AM

  • @sadaf Why must hindus follow ram raj to the sect of people how does not have any belief of rama and who does not care about hindus whether it is kashmir or pakistan.
    By satwa gunam - 3/19/2012 10:57:35 AM

  • At least majority of Hindus are notsupporting Narendra Modi or even his party in states like: Punjab, Haryana,Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, and 8 North eastern states,Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa. How many statesthese are? I hope you are counting on your fingers of your feet by now afterhaving exhausted that of hands. Even in Maharashtra, majority of Hindus do notlike Narendra Modi. So which majority you are talking about? Yes if we countonly RSS shakhas then I can hope that he is liked by majority. But you neverknow even there is also a strong lobby favouring Nitin Gadkari over NarendraModi as Modi in order to appear taller has stepped on the tail of RSS and hashurt its image by making RSS appear gang of murderers. Nitin Gadkari has muchbetter and cleaner image and has good organizing ability too. Anyway so in noway majority of Hindus are with Narendra Modi. 

    Come to second part. When you agree withwhat happened in Gujrat was not between Hindus and Muslims it is your makkarito not go ahead and agree that it was the unjust Chief Minister who brought badname to Hindus. As for talking about Kashmir, your argument is that sinceMuslims of Kashmir do not come out to support Hindus in Kashmir, so it is OKthat Muslims of Gujarat should be punished! What nonsense logic is this Satwa.Are you out of your mind? Hang a lean and thin person because the fatter onewho was supposed to be hanged is difficult to hang. Wah!! 

    Lastly, Narendra Modi has written hisname alongside that of Ravan who too had made Lanka of Gold, as it is saidabout him, but was unjust. No matter how much Narendra Modi may bring FDI inGujarat. He forgot his rajdharm and such adharmi will no way be supported bysuch Hindus who believe in dharm. For adharmis like you and your Jansanghibrigade, haven’t you heard of that song ‘Ramchandra kah gaye siya se (I hopeyou know what is siya for, it is for Mother Sita, his wife, and I felt need toexplain this because you being Jansanghi are adharmi so possibly you do notknow all these), aisa Kalyug aayega, Muslim Hindu ko Hindu ki hi dharm yaaddilayega.

    By sadaf - 3/18/2012 12:57:35 PM

  • @sadaf I don't want to make any issue as Muslim vs Hindus and I agree with your statement that what is happened in Gujarat was not not directly between Muslim and Hindus. But the following points needs to be pondered : Why is the majority of Hindus are supporting the minority who did the mistake to repeated come back to power ? In the same manner why is that the common Muslim in Kashmir never came out in protest for the protection of Hindus ? Rather being judgemental, I leave this question for all to contemplate dispassionately as wishingful thinking and truth can sometime be poles apart.
    By satwa gunam - 3/17/2012 10:53:14 PM

  • i think sultan shahin has a lak of knowledge about MADARSA so he should take admission and learn from there whats the actual sin. And he is SULTAN SAHIN IF HE IS MULSIM SO CALLED THEN ALSO READ ABOUT THE CONTINUATION OF INDIA WHAT SAID ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
    By parwez - 3/17/2012 6:28:55 PM

  • Satwa don't make it a Hindu VS Muslim thing. The other day only, Sanjiv Bhatt was saying, the Gujrat pogram is being projected as Hindu Vs Muslim riot but it was clearly a Jansanghi Narendra Modi who was responsible for whatever happened after the Godhra incident. The culprit is not Hindu and Muslims should not blame Hindus because this is what Narendra Modi wants to happen. He want distance between Hindus and Muslims, but Muslims must understand that Narendra Modi and Jansanghis are the problem and not all Hindus. And true to what he said as Muslims we know that not all Hindus are like Narendra Modi and Jansanghis. Most of them are neutral and some of them are even as supportive to Muslims as Sanjiv Bhatt.
    By sadaf - 3/17/2012 4:13:24 PM

  • @ Younus Sb: I am in full agreement with Mr. Sultan Shahin upon his scholarly views as well as I appreciate your opinion explaing the present day scenario of the Madarsa education which needs drastic changes in syllabus and text-book, teachers' appointment, organising body, attitude and approach of the Muslims in finalising its role in the community's development to bring about it to the lavel of mainstream education. Madarsa education must be modernised and go hand in hand with the scientific education to meet the needs of the learners. Only then, it can serve its basic porpose. Otherwise, the Madarsa learners will not be able to cope with the present-time professional pressure as well as social demands to be secular, liberal and moderate
    By Raihan Nezami - 3/15/2012 11:36:18 PM

  • @Raihan Nizami,Sonika,ms, Khalid: When Sultan Shahin screens madrassa education – he is talking about present day scenario. The truth is even if you look around all the Muslim countries in the world, you will find that the syllabus of madrassas are not geared to groom it students in the arts, sciences and disciplines that are needed to qualify in the premium job market – let alone command a competitive edge there. He is talking about this very day. In the past era, most of our forebear had madrassa education and many of them did well in life – in terms of acquiring higher civil education post madrassa education and getting good jobs. But the syllabus of civil education meanwhile has remarkably changed/ advanced, while the madrassa curriculum, especially of those numerous units that have mushroomed at the back of petro-dollars, remains heavily loaded with theological disciplines and grossly under-represented in subjects that are relevant to the job market in the expanding business and industrial world and other fields that have evolved with the progress of civilization.

    So the product of these madrassas are definitely handicapped in the job market and end up as a moulvi or muezzin in a mosque or a private teacher to children for Qur’anic recitation. But these jobs command very low wages, because of supply and demand, and its lack of any financial bearing / return.

    Besides, there is no religious ground to bar the madrassa students from acquiring universal knowledge in all the fields and faculties as taught in secular / civil educational institution, and there is no religious ground to divide the domain of knowledge between Islamic and non-Islamic. Such differentiation was not done in the early centuries of Islam when all the prevalent fields of knowledge – mathematics, chemistry, medicine, geography, astronomy were not only taught in madrassas but were intensively researched and the base of scientific and universal knowledge was greatly advanced. But in later era, the orthodoxy rejected universal sciences and disciplines and unlawfully divided knowledge between Islamic and non-Islamic.

    God alone is the fountainhead of all knowledge and there is no justification to have a madrassa curriculum that under-represents universal sciences and knowledge – as is the case today – just the opposite to that of early Islam. The writer has discussed the issue at some length in the articles referenced below that those interested to get to the bottom of the issue facing the Muslims in education field and global competition today may read.
    1. An Open Reminder to the Ulamas: Rejecting universal knowledge as un-Islamic is brazenly un-Islamic and kufr (denial of truth)
    2. The evolution of the Hadith sciences and the Prophet’s Sunna and the need for a Major Paradigm Shift regarding the role of the Hadith Corpus and the scope of Madrassa education.

    By muhammad yunus - 3/15/2012 8:04:51 PM

  • Overgeneralisation, of course, or hyperbolic statement should be avoided in matters of general masses and communities as in absent of facts and figures, we can not blame all the madarsas and their students. The author is absolutely justified in his assessment in a general term, whereas it is also a fact, there are numerous madarsa-educated people who have reached reach to the summit in the quest for their career. There are still some people in my home town who appreciate my father's genuine role in their educational life when he used to teach in a Madarsa. Although Madarsas are quite helpful in imparting religious teaching to our children, we can not ignore the inappropiate syllabi, obsolete methodology, lack of dedicated teachers, absence of motivation, untrustworthy organisation and above all inability to equip our children with scientific knowledge. If such lacunas are removed, Madarsas can serve our community in a better way.
    By Raihan Nezami - 3/15/2012 2:04:53 PM

  • I dunno why people tend to generalise facts so easily... Even i have been to amadrassa for my religious education and today alhamdulillah, I am well placed in a good job. So are many of my colleagues. The problem lies in the media. Western media tended to generalise madrassas as generators of mujahideen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Termed as freedom fighters trained in Pakistani madrassas, they were later branded as terrorists during the American invasion. Now the blot has become so indelible that when people think of madrassas, they think of terrorists or uneducated mullahs. I have seen madrassas in my village which help children clear their matriculation so that they become eligible for atleast the most basic jobs. Deoband scholars have cleared civil exams. And i am pretty sure the author himself has not been to a madrassa. So Mr. Author plz stop generalising facts and look into more importnat issues facing the Muslim ummah. May allah help u in ur way.
    By sm - 3/15/2012 1:00:50 PM

  • “Madrasa Education is a Clear Violation of the Human Rights of Children” is a bitter truth of Muslim society of Indian subcontinent. One cannot generalise it that all the madarsa’s are following similar syllabus and have the same pattern of education, as my father, brother husband and other family members have got their basic education from madras, where they got only religious education but no extremist ideology or orientation. One can regard this example as an exceptional but there are many more. Yes, the time has completely been changed along with educational pattern, living style and mainly moral values, and these Madarsa’s and their curriculum are not echoing with this visible change. We should take this as a wakeup call as suggested by the editor of this site, Mr Sultan Shahin, otherwise it will be too late. People may give the excuse that these poor students have no alternative, but to join, it is not going to work; it will make the problem further worse. And my humble suggestion being a thinking community, we have to think and solve this problem as soon as possible to leave a safe future for coming generation.
    By Sonika Rahman - 3/15/2012 3:19:53 AM

  • @ Khalid: If you are a Muslim and want to understand this site, please spend some time on this site, go through the articles being posted and the comments of the readers for thoroughly. I believe your opinion will be drastically changed and you will estimate the real value and services being done by this site for the sake of the survival and stability of Islam. The problem lies in your non-understanding of the grave danger and the criticism our religion is facing due to some impractical, unsocial and un-Islamic practices in Islam. The professional Mullahs further aggravate the already critical practices by their unwise and un-Quranic Fatawas. Recently, Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a Fatawa declaring the whole-body-scan as un-Islamic, the thing they forget that in case of liabilities and compulsion, Islam softens its rules - that makes it quite liberal and practical religion. I hope you stand it better.
    By Raihan Nezami - 3/13/2012 1:33:32 PM

  • you can take your new age islam which has nothing to do with Quran and Sunnah turn it sideways and shove it up your masters ass sitting in vatican city you are nothing but his puppets with no religious background like frogs that comes out of nowhere after the rain
    By khalid - 3/13/2012 11:51:12 AM

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