The Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education
Edited by Robert W. Hefner & Muhammad Qasim Zaman
Since the Taliban seized Kabul in 1996, the public has grappled with the relationship between Islamic education and radical Islam. Media reports tend to paint madrasas--religious schools dedicated to Islamic learning--as medieval institutions opposed to all that is Western and as breeding grounds for terrorists. Others have claimed that without reforms, Islam and the West are doomed to a clash of civilizations.
Robert Hefner and Muhammad Qasim Zaman bring together eleven internationally renowned scholars to examine the varieties of modern Muslim education and their implications for national and global politics. The contributors provide new insights into Muslim culture and politics in countries as different as Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. They demonstrate that Islamic education is neither timelessly traditional nor medieval, but rather complex, evolving, and diverse in its institutions and practices. They reveal that a struggle for hearts and minds in Muslim lands started long before the Western media discovered madrasas, and that Islamic schools remain on its front line.
Schooling Islam is the most comprehensive work available in any language on madrasas and Islamic education.
Robert W. Hefner is Director of the Program on Islam and Civil Society at the Institute on Culture and Religious Affairs at Boston University. Muhammad Qasim Zaman is Robert H. Niehaus '77 Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Religion at Princeton University.