Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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

Blog Image
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.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

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
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected