Statement on the October 30 bombing of the madrasa in Chingai, Pakistan

The International Center for Religion & Diplomacy (ICRD) is honored to be working with selected madrasas in Pakistan to enhance the opportunities they provide for their students.

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By Douglas Johnston
November, 2006

The International Center for Religion & Diplomacy (ICRD) is honored to be working with selected madrasas in Pakistan to enhance the opportunities they provide for their students. We are mindful of the unique role these religious schools have played throughout history, particularly during the Middle Ages when they were the peaks of learning excellence and facilitated pioneering breakthroughs in the arts and sciences, including the initial development of human rights and religious tolerance.

ICRD therefore:

  • Applauds the efforts of madrasa leaders to increase the future opportunities for their students by making the kinds of adjustments to their curriculums and teaching techniques that will enable students to achieve their full potential.
  • Believes the madrasas should be viewed as sacrosanct institutions devoted solely to providing a morally-based education to students from all levels of Pakistani society. Just as they should not be the targets of military action by governments or other armed bodies, they should also not be misused by “freedom fighters” in pursuit of political ends.
  • Unequivocally deplores the killing of innocents, including the use of violence against civilians.
  • Recognizes that is the duty of all Believers to make peace with one another. Madrasas have made enormous contributions to the advance of civilization and even provided the inspiration that led to development of the university system in the West. We believe it is incumbent upon all citizens to respect these institutions and to assist them in reclaiming their former glory by providing a brighter future for the children of Pakistan.

Dr. Douglas M. Johnston
President
International Center for Religion & Diplomacy

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