The evolution of the Deoband madrasa network and U.S. efforts to combat militant ideology
Adamski, Michael J.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis proposes recommendations on how to implement aid to Pakistan in order to mitigate the detrimental effects the militarization of the Deoband madrasas are having on U.S. efforts in the region. With the U.S. on the brink of unprecedented commitments of development aid earmarked for western Pakistan, an opportunity exists for a monumental shaping effort to the execution of U.S. policy along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, and compliment to ongoing security operations intended to quell the strengthening insurgency in Afghanistan.; The thesis traces the history of the Deoband madrasa network from its origins in India as an answer to the occupation of Britain in the 1860s. It highlights the expansion of the Deoband sect into Pakistan after its establishment in 1947, and describes how it was continually politicized by multiple organizations over time, peaking in the late 1970s at the beginning of the Zia ul-Haq regime. It then discusses the Deoband madrasa tipping point to militarization in the 1980s. It demonstrates how the U.S. played a key role in turning the madrasas into more militarized institutions through curriculum and weapons in order to bolster the Mujahedin ranks which were battling the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.; From there, the thesis addresses the imbalance of development and security aid to Pakistan, and how this, combined with the militarization in the 1980s, significantly contributes to the problems the U.S. is presently dealing with in the region. The bulk of U.S. aid to Pakistan since 1977 has focused on security, and has been spent by the Pakistani military primarily to bolster their ability to combat India.; Finally, the thesis discusses the Kerry/Lugar Bill in detail, and how applying funds from this, along with proper utilization of private sector organizations already involved in madrasa demilitarization is the key to a successful long term initiative. The thesis cautions that the U.S. must carefully manage perception with regard to these efforts as to not appear as violating Pakistan's sovereignty, as well as threatening the identity of the Deobands who still cling to an anti-colonial spirit. The aim of spending money from the Kerry/Lugar Bill on the demilitarization of the madrasas would be an effective way to assist in quelling the insurgency in Afghanistan, and would prove an innovative soft power approach to enhancing U.S. national security.
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