RealNews

War on Terror: Holy War 101

Abdul Bari’s school day begins at 4 a.m. The freckle-faced, outgoing 9-year-old, an Afghan poppy farmer’s son, wakes up on the tile floor he shares with four dozen other students at the Jamia Uloom Islamia religious academy, in the untamed mountains of Pakistan’s tribal areas. After morning prayer services, he fixes tea for the older boys and himself, eating a bit of bread before classes start at daybreak. Students spend most of the day reciting the Qur’an; memorizing every one of its 6,666 verses is the main requirement for graduation. Still, this madrassa is the only formal schooling most of these boys will ever have. So they learn civics from a white-bearded scholar named Amanullah, 65, who teaches them about the Taliban. “There was a real Islamic regime,” the old man says. “They fixed 25 years of problems in no time, using Islamic laws.” Full Story

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