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Islamabad's Lal Mosque grooming jihadis: Research scholar

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February 03, 2007 19:01 IST
Girl students of a seminary attached to a prominent mosque in Pakistan were being groomed as wives and mothers for jihadis and suicide bombers, a US-based Pakistani research scholar has claimed.

"The students and teachers told me the madrassa is grooming wives and mothers for jihadis, female suicide bombers and female foot-soldiers who will clash with the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan, if necessary," Farhat Taj, a research fellow at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies, University of Oslo wrote in Pakistan's Daily Times on Saturday.

Taj recently visited the Lal Mosque and the Jamia Hifsa seminary in Islamabad before the Capital Development Authority served notice for its demolition on the ground that it was unauthorised construction.

"Students of the Jamia wake up every morning at 5:00 a.m. They are not allowed any games, out-door trips or TV. They live in strict gender segregation and believe in the subordination of woman to man. They study Islam in its most extremist form," she wrote.

Taj's observations came as President Pervez Musharraf on Friday said that certain mosques and madrassas in Islamabad, which faced demolition notices would be relocated.

Musharraf said certain individuals had encroached upon public land to build mosques and madrassas. "A decision has been taken to relocate the mosques to better places so there is no hindrance in the execution of administrative responsibilities," he said.

The demolition notices has ignited debates in Pakistan, with many Islamic clerics attempting to draw parallel between the demolition of the Babri Masjid in India and the CDA notices.

The international and national media have been reporting Jamia's violent jihadi views and suspected links with Al Qaeda.

"The latest twist is that the British media spotted Misbah Irum, the Scottish born 12-year-old girl who was at the centre of an international child custody battle between her Scottish mother and Pakistani father, in Jamia Hifsa.

She was projected as a future Islamist militant in the making. Before this, the government of President Pervez Musharraf had accused the Jamia of harbouring Islamic militants wanted on terrorism charges," the research scholar said.

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