Pakistan’s “madrassas” have been described as “jihad universities” because of their ties to the Taliban and Islamic extremists, but a small-scale indigenous effort to reform the religious schools could be making more progress than the combined forces of the American, British and Pakistani governments.
Nicholas Schmidle is a freelance writer interested in culture, religion and politics in Asia. He has reported from Central Asia and Iran, and has been published in The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, Asia Times, and others. In June 2005, he was awarded a fellowship by the Institute of Current World Affairs to spend two years studying and writing about Pakistan. Previously, he was based in Washington, DC, where he completed a Master?s degree in International Affairs from American University.