Weapons of Mass Instruction: The Madrassa Myth

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With Pakistan’s public education in shambles, many families struggle to find decent schools for their children. One option is the local madrassa, or religious school. Some Westerners see these schools as incubators of Islamic extremists, or so-called “weapons of mass instruction.” Our next guest argues that the problem is not one of religious education but of law enforcement, and that U.S. money would be better spent on revamping the more globally-minded private school system. Christine Fair is a senior political scientist at the RAND corporation and an expert in Pakistan security issues. She co-wrote an article about madrassas in this month's Foreign Policy.

""We don't want to give the illusion that all madrassas are innocent, but we also want to say very clearly that they're a very small number. And of that small number, a smaller number yet are actually involved in the production of terrorism."
— Christine Fair of the RAND Corporation on Pakistani madrassas.