Sunday, August 30, 2015

Where Daniel Pearl's body was dumped

The building is nondescript, like a huge apartment block. in a field in east Karachi. But it contains a notorious religious school, or madrassa, called Jama Ashrafiya, and when you drive around it you can see students and teachers in the rear courtyard. Young boys from poor families get meals and board and have their worldview shaped here.

Where Daniel Pearl's body was dumped

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Jama Ashrafiya

The building is nondescript, like a huge apartment block. in a field in east Karachi. But it contains a notorious religious school, or madrassa,  called Jama Ashrafiya, and when you drive around it you can see students and teachers in the rear courtyard. Young boys from poor families get meals and board and have their worldview shaped here.

Many of these radical madrassas are built without permits on government-owned land, yet the police never intervene (indeed the city mayor has no control over the police who respond to the provincial government). Repeated pressure by the United States and millions in education aid intended to bolster the underfunded public schools, have had little impact. Madrassa reform efforts undertaken by former President Musharraf, have come to little.

And so, hardline madrassas like this one continue to indoctrinate youths, a small portion of whom may become future suicide bombers.

And it was nearby this building, that the decapitated body of Danny Pearl was found.

Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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