Archive for the ‘Indoctrination’ Category

Islamo Arab fascism: For Arabs only, For Muslims only & Anti-Israel bigotry as an integral part of it

March 27, 2007

Islamo Arab fascism: For Arabs only, For Muslims only & Anti-Israel as an integral part of it


Have you ever wondered what drives a Saudi, Jordanian, ‘Palestinian’ to come over to a completely foreign country: Iraq to ‘fight the infidel’ US/UK?

After all they don’t fight for ‘their country’ at all?
What’s the special bond then?
The intolerance of Jihad, or more powerful the twin evil of Arab racism & Islamic Jihad, if you are a non Arab, a non-Muslim, you ‘don’t belong here’, They are saying: ‘(No matter where we were born) We are here in our land’, the middle east is ours, and ONLY ours.


Their ‘freedom fighting’ now takes a whole new diabolical meaning, doesn’t it? How about ‘free from the other race/religion/creed’? but it’s actually quite old, ancient bigotry.


The Overwhelming proof that Arab Muslims’ anti-Israel campaign is nothing but bigotry, racism, fascism.

The pure facts of Arabs not wanting non Arabs, Muslims not wanting non  Muslims, especially in their neighborhood, A.K.A. The Middle East.

Why else would major Arab countries unify to destroy Israel since it’s inception & the same time persecute the Arab ‘Palestinians’ living among them?

Trust me, as much as the myth of ‘Arab unity’ is in the west, you wouldn’t want to be a ‘Palestinian’ Arab in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, you name it.

Let’s not kid ourselves for one moment the fact and the reason why none of the Arab Muslim leaders ever wanted sincerely for a ‘Palestinian’ solution, 1) anti Israel galvanizing power among Arab populous is far of a great asset to their oppressive regimes on their resentful citizens, 2) It makes sure their bigoted anti-Israel campaign goes on ‘without end’, until even westerners can admit to ‘Palestinian’ misery.

Arab leaders knew/know full well that most grandfathers of today’s ‘Palestinian Arabs are no natives to Israel, the holy-land, of course they immigrated from other Arab countries.
But, you get the point, they are Arabs, they are Muslims, therefor they belong in all of the middle east, the Arab Muslim (fascism) land.

That’s also why Jews have to give up part or all of it’s land to the Arabs, even though Jews were there first historically, but, yes, again, they are not Arabs, they are not Muslims.

Explain to me what the Arabian anti-non-Arabs racist, anti-Kurd, anti-Iranian, anti-Jewish Arabian butcher Saddam Hussein meant in his final bloody legacy’s phrase: “Palestine is Arab’?
It means ‘no non Arabs in ‘Palestine’, period! ethnic cleansing, genocide, you find the definition for it.

The Islamic Republic of Iran that is not even a neighbor of Israel’s has nothing against Israel BUT the problem with ‘It being amidst Muslim land’.

Though the slow driving out of the Christian Arabs started off by the Arab Egyptian turned ‘Palestinian’ (somehow), Yassir Arafat, & continued by current  ‘Palestinian’ Islamfscism-Hamas, anti-Christian is still not as powerful, no match to the fire motivatred by the added fuel of Arab racism, the added anti Jewish push.

Speaking of Arafat, you’d wonder How come an Egyptian could have been/become the most classical (so called) ‘Palestinian’ icon, again, there’s no contradiction, an Arab is an Arab, a Muslim is a Muslim, the middle east is pure Arab, pure Muslim, remember?

Arab racism is actually also tide much to Islamic radicalism, it’s nationalism is always fueled & glorified by the ‘cult{ure} of radical Islam’, even Iraq’s Saddam & Syria’s Asad, supposedly some seculars in their private practice, resorted to Islamic inspiration in their horrendous  crimes against humanity, on their own people & fascistically on minirities.

{There are two causes of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The first is Arab racism, which rejects any presence that is not Arab in its neighborhood; the second is Islamic intolerance which leads to the same rejection }


What’s this constant talk about winning the hearts & minds of Islamo Arab world?

Long before the disappointment in US at the ugly ungrateful reaction by Iraqis’ after being freed from Saddam, Israel learned it the hard way, in the early 1980’s when being attacked by PLO terrorists from Lebanon, entered Lebanon as liberators from the jungle the ‘Palestinians’ have left Lebanese to deal with, hard to believe, but the Shiite Muslims actually threw flowers at the Israeli heroes, but as soon as they prolonged their stay, they were attacked by the very Lebanese Muslims, brutally.
The message was clear: OK, Thank you but good bye, Bush didn’t hear that, it seems, or he was kidding himself that the excitement would take a long time, answer: deeply rooted Arab racism & Islamic facsiom for the “OTHER”, is far greater than any obligated gratitude.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against trying to ‘win their hearts/minds’, even [in reality it can not surpass] for just a limited success, but I am against illusions that it might simply take away their fascist motivation against us, against the other.

Think, western leaders!
Think really hard, that they’re simply NOT ABLE to like us,we don’t belong in their neighborhood, that’s simply how  they’re raised, leave aside the anti-colonialism revolt that has swept that world, there is a totally other factor, the fascism mentioned, no matter if you are a French in Algeria/Morocco, an American, Englishman in Afghanistan/Iraq, Swiss tourists in Egypt, ANY Westerner in the ‘Palestinian’ West bank, etc. (all of the above have been attacked by Islamists).

And as long as the west won’t GET IT we’ll keep on living in false imaginations & endless self-examinations of ‘how they might like us’, here’s a short answer for you:
They hate us (because of their bigotry, if our policies inflate this already factor, that’s already an entire different discussion), but they hate us even more when we are so close to them.

‘Keep your friends close & your enemies closer’, is way too sweet for their despicable bitterness, a bitterness yet so hypocritically masked as ‘holy’.


Whose fault is it that the ‘war on terror’ is so hard to overcome?

March 23, 2007

Whose fault is it that the ‘war on terror’ is so hard to overcome?

1) The Islamists brain washers, from those that teach that non Muslims are Apes, Pigs, Cows, those that teach that the west in the enemy and one mush wage war on all non Muslims kafirs, those that instill extreme hatred & death cult to be glorifying death & mass murder over the value of any life, those that build up the fantasy on among young Muslims to be striving for an all out Islamic Caliphate, to be dominating the entire world.

2) Mainstream Muslim leaders, the “normal” mosques saturated with hate sermons & Satanic – Jihadism, even those considered “moderate”, no matter how far they proclaim to be “denouncing terrorism” always manage to find the explanation ‘why Islamists terrorists’ commit the crimes against humanity.

3) The Arab venomous media that incite their world with true or fake extremely graphic photos of dead or injured Arab kids, without any explanations on Arab terrorists Hamas/Hezbollah/AlQaida inhumane tactics that are the main guilty party in causing it.

4) Last but not least, Those right over here in the west, (in the media or in office) that adopt perpetuate Islamists’ excuses, their so called “grievances”.

Each time you utter the “occupation” slogan or any other by that style of wording, you automatically give more ammunition to the criminal terrorists, their motivation & justification, they are only waiting for such statements from such cowards to be able to hang on to & carry one their massacres with even greater might.

Included are the anti UK, Anti American “activists” that pretend to be caring for Iraqi Arabs, or those anti Israel bigots that couldn’t care less about the Arab – “Palestinians” but perpetuate their completely invented & self inflicted sick “victim hood” for either sole political purposes or plain old bigotry.

You can say it again, each time one bashes Israel’s, America’s, Britain’s, Australia’s (etc.) war on Islamofascism, he or she boosts up the enemy, the very enemy that would behead a liberal just as a conservative infidel, suicide!

As simply as that.

‘Palestinian’ Education from Hell

March 21, 2007

‘Palestinian’ Education from Hell

When their kids die, blame no one but their “lovebale” parents!!!





Back to school – flash


Teach Kids Peace


Research on their terrible ‘textbooks’


Indoctrination to the hate & death cult


The Nazi, Jew-Hating Indoctrination of Palestinian Children


Death cult – Kids


Some Clips




Jerusalem cleric praises child ‘sacrifices’
Jihad for kids (<this one is about Arab-Palestinian children TV programming — their version of Sesame Street … very disturbing and sick)!
Palestinian kids raised for war
Palestinian TV urging children to kill

Pedagogy Of Hate

Seeds of Hate/ Jihad for kids

This is a 30 minute video about arab terrorism. Some of the reports are taken from the BBC and CNN, but others are from the PA’s official television station, and show mullahs and PA officials inciting the people (incuding children, at “summer camp”) to commit murder.

Incitement, Clip Anti Western Incitement

More on this:
Arabic kids — actors in Arafat’s theater of war

Kids “Playing War” – the pictures

Palestinian authority preacher praises suicide bombing

Palestinian authority condemns parents who forbid their children to join the riots

The MAKING of a suicide bomber (nothing “random desperate”, but led in coordination) (Caution)

Exposing Palestinian-Arab twisted textbooks for their kids

Pictures – Palestinian Education


A Palestinian Education

The “unique” teaching to dance & cheer for the murder of innocent civilians

FACTS: Photos of Palestinians Dancing and Cheering Sep. 11 2001

Article & photos

Palestinians surpressing it & threatening the journalists reporting it

A link of a BBC audio report on the celebrations

And the attempts to lie about it Urban Legends Reference

From Gamla
Palestinians celebrate the Sbarro Pizza restaurant bombing of innocent civilians

Terror at the Pizza Parlour


The Bombing in the Cafe on March 9, 2002

Then the “celebration” afterwards by “palestinians”…


From LGF
11/15/2002: Palestinians Celebrate Cold-Blooded Murder

Palestinians Celebrate Cold-Blooded Murder

The terrorist atrocity perpetrated by Islamic Jihad today in Hebron has now claimed 12 lives. It was deliberate cold-blooded murder; after the initial attack, the Palestinian swine waited for the ambulances and rescue personnel to arrive, and ambushed them.

Then they had a big party.


Palestinians Celebrate Twin Bus Bombing (August 2004)

(Pics spotted via Charles)
Palestinians were out in their masses after the twin bus bombing in Beer Sheva, joyously celebrating the murder of innocent Jews. An example of what Marc K at Middle East Cartoons was saying?.




Palestinians celebrate in front of the family house of Palestinian suicide bomber Hassan Abu Zeid, 20, in the West Bank town of Qabatiah October 26,2005

The Attack

The celebration


The Palestinian incitement
More in this:
Palestinian incitement

International human rights lawyer researches the status of human rights in the wake of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The Use of Palestinian Children in the Al-Aqsa Intifada

Palestinian Textbooks and Incitement The Prism Group has researched several other examples of textbooks used by schools within the jurisdiction of the PA

TerrorismJihad Summer Camps; Palestinian textbooks promoting hatred towards Israel … and a CBS video entitled “Terror Links to PA, Iraq and Iran.”

Palestinian textbooks display maps which prove that Israel does not exist

TEACHING TERROR: Palestinian Authority’s Text Book Study

Sharansky: PA promotes GENOCIDE

PA television and textbooks teach children to hate and urge violence and martyrdom

Mother Promotes Killing and Death- New PA TV Clip

Alert Abbas to PA textbooks [Palestinian 12th grade textbooks teach hating Israel, pursuing its destruction – religious duties.] (March 2007)

Palestinian Minister of Justice incites to murder Israelis and to hate Americans – Nov-2003

The Education of (Israeli) Meira and (Vs.) Muhammed

Stop the ‘Palestinian’ hate education

Clinton slams PA indoctrination

Kids: the main force of the Palestinian Front – Israel’s War Against Terror – The Education for Terror

Incitement, Antisemitism and Hatred of Israel in Palestinian …The textbooks used in the Palestinian Authority school system, from elementary through high school, are replete with strong expressions of hatred towards …

Palestinian Textbooks Table of Contents 2003 Palestinian Authority Textbook Calls for Jihad and Martyrdom · 2004 PA Textbooks Still Don’t Meet International Standards· Congressional Statement


…and someone there still tries to “tell” us that they bomb CIVILIANS out of “desperation”???
Don’t we all know that these sophisticated bombs need careful ADULT PLANNING?
Don’t we all know by now the Arab ‘palestinian’ SCHOOL of DEATHS there?
They’re ‘desperate’ for what?
For what they’ve BEEN TAUGHT by ADULT “parents/teachers” to do… DYING VIA KILLING, The ultimate EVIL.

On that: “apes and pigs” thing

NPR : Saudi Textbooks Still Teach Hate, Group Says– It says that the textbooks instruct students that Christians and Jews are apes and pigs, and warns students not to greet, befriend, or respect non-believers.
digg – Saudi Schoolbooks: Christians and Jews are “apes and pigs”
Saudi Schoolbooks: Christians and Jews are “apes and pigs” – Allah Akbar! Jihadists behead, shoot Russian hostages – Muslim Village Evicts Rape Victim,
Teach Kids Peace – Saudi Education: Hatred of Christians & Jews
Jews and Christians – Cursed by Allah and Turned into Apes and Pigs: A textbook for 8th grade students explains why Jews and Christians were cursed by Allah …

In the Islamic traditions, Muslims too were threatened with being turned into apes and pigs. However, for Jews and Christians this punishment was a thing of …
We do use books that call Jews ‘apes’ admits head of Islamic …London’s entertainment & listings website – The Evening Standard incorporating … Jews as “apes” and Christians as “pigs” and has refused to withdraw them ts+head+of+Islamic+school/

Pupils aged five ‘poisoned’ at Islamic school that ‘teaches hate …An Islamic school is poisoning the minds of pupils with lessons in hate, … of lessons to religious education and teaches almost all classes in Arabic 70

More on the Hate Schooling 


 Global Islamic world

Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America: …”hate education” in Islamic institutions.

Teach Kids Peace – Saudi Education: Hatred of Christians & Jews Saudi Education: Hatred of Christians & Jews … Islam is not only integral to Saudi education but also serves as the very essence of its curriculum. …

Teach Kids Peace – Kuwaiti Columnist Urges Reform of Arab EducationWe will continue to carry our Arab and Islamic characteristics, but we also want to live harmoniously and … Saudi Education: Hatred of Christians & Jews

Special Report – No. 12The Saudi embassy document explains: “Our education system does not teach anti-American doctrines and hatred of the West… Islam teaches peace, amicability …

The Real Roots of Muslim Hatred

What Are Islamic Schools Teaching? – A textbook used at the Islamic Saudi Academy of Alexandria, Va., in 2004, authored and published by the Saudi Ministry of Education, teaches first graders …

NPR : Saudi Textbooks Still Teach Hate, Group Says… textbooks instruct students that Christians and Jews are “apes and pigs”

Funding (“palestinian moderate”?) Abu Mazen’s Hate Education Abu Mazen’s hate-education has benefited from US foreign aid ($3BN), which has been … A full chapter in 5th grade “Islamic Education” glorifies Shaheeds.

Saudi textbooks preach intolerance, hate

MAOF Analytical Group CAUSES OF ANTI-US ISLAMIC TERRORISM, a 13 century old hate-education and terrorism.

Karzai: Time to close hate schools Madrassas, or Islamic schools, are “teaching hatred rather than religion, (teaching) that some people we must hate, that some people we must destroy…..

Look who’s teaching Johnny about Islam

Inciting and Educating Children Towards Hate, Anti-Semitism Violence in Palestinian Authority

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan… a Taliban vow to open schools in Afghanistan, saying this was likely a pretext for moving “hate madrassas” into the country from Pakistan.

Sermon Of Hate. Communalism Combat 16 May, 2003 … You tell them about madrassas which teach fundamentalism and jihad, they say this must be taught.

Myths & Facts -The Treatment of Jews in Arab/Islamic Countries The Arab countries see to it that even young schoolchildren are taught to hate Jews.

Extremist Islam and hate against non-Muslims in British mosques secretly filmed

Nurturing Young Islamic Hearts and Hatreds The madrassas’ sword is in the narrow education they offer, and the devotion they … Sons of Islam must answer that tyranny with holy war, he said. …

Analysts Say Many Pakistani Madrassas Teach Worldview of Intolerance

‘University of Jihad’ teaches students hate and bigotry-News-UK . “Jihad is an essential part of Islam,” said Mr Haq. … The education imparted by traditional madrassas spawns factional, religious and cultural conflicts.

Funding Islamic hate… re: — Farrakhan and his hate is typical of mainstream Arabic Islam. 

“We Hate Canada” … These ideas will not be dislodged by education about Western values

Technorati – ]

Are Koran Schools Hotbeds of Terrorism?

March 20, 2007


Are Koran Schools Hotbeds of Terrorism?,1518,472583,00.html

By Bernhard Zand

To most Western minds, madrasahs are breeding grounds for terrorists. But that’s only one side of the coin. The syllabus at many Koran schools is far removed from Islamist extremism. For millions of Muslims, these schools are the only hope of an education.

One of the men is wearing a white turban and a mint-green cloak over his tailored dishdasha, the traditional Arab men’s robe – pure silk, freshly ironed. When he sits down, the mere fall of its folds betrays that he is a man of pedigree. Sheikh Omar is a sayyid, a descendant of Mohammed. He can trace his family tree back through 14 centuries and 34 learned ancestors to Hussein, the son of Ali, and Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet. The other – Sheikh Abd al-Majid al-Zindani – is 62 years-old. Attar of roses fills the air when he returns from evening prayer. His students rise, revealing jambiyas – the traditional Yemeni daggers – on their belts. A bodyguard is positioned behind him.

Following the Koran to an Education

According to Sunni teachings, 43-yearold Sheikh Omar is an aristocrat. But he is also the founder and director of a madrasah in Hadhramaut, a region in eastern Yemen. He teaches Muslims from kindergarten up to university level, in classes divided by gender: 800 of them, hailing from Yemen, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Britain and the United States.

Sheikh al-Zindani too is a celebrity of sorts. The man with the red, henna-dyed beard is one of the most photographed Muslim leaders of our times. He heads the largest Islamic university in Yemen, al-Iman University in the capital city of Sanaa. John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban” captured in Afghanistan at the end of 2001, took courses here.

Omar and Zindani span the entire spectrum of Islamic education and religious belief; the gulf between them could scarcely be wider. The former, a sophisticated sheikh from Hadhramaut is an educated man who inducts children into the world of knowledge – as the term is understood in the West as well. The latter, a committed Islamist fought alongside Osama bin Laden to drive the Red Army out of Afghanistan. He would like to see all human life interpreted strictly according to the Koran.

Forty pairs of battered flipflops

A sentry with a Kalashnikov over his shoulder guards the entrance to al-Iman University. It is situated on the northern highway circling Sanaa, in a desolate suburb familiar from other cities in the region – Sidi Mumin on the eastern edge of Casablanca, Isbat al-Nachl in the north of Cairo, the Habib quarter of Istanbul or the impoverished south districts of Tehran. Car repair shops, gravel pits, cement works interspersed with concrete huts hastily built for those who have fled the rural regions. Political Islam flourishes here. Sheik Zindani chose this spot 12 years ago to open his madrasah.


International Edition: The Power Of Faith – How Religion Impacts Our World

The path to the school leads up a slope and then down into a large pit, where 22 bare cement pavilions have been erected: administrative buildings, a laundry, and living quarters. Outside the door to building number seven are two bricks to keep out the ubiquitous sand. In the foyer behind it are some 40 pairs of battered flipflops, the students’ footwear.

Ahmed Omar (25) is berthed in the first dormitory on the right, together with five compatriots from Somalia. A Mogadishu sheikh, himself a student in Sanaa 10 years earlier, sent Omar to al-Iman University. Ahmed Omar has lived here for the past two years, and has already learned onethird of the Koran by heart, including the longest of the 114 suras, al-Bakara, “The Cow.” It begins: “Alif lam mim. This book is not to be doubted. It is a guide for the righteous, who have faith in the unseen and are steadfast in prayer; who bestow in charity a part of what We have given them.”

It is Ramadan, and no lectures are scheduled at al-Iman University. But like his fellow students from Colombo, Dushanbe and Khartoum, the young Somali has no money to travel home. Not even enough to call his mother in Mogadishu.

Completely immersed in the Koran

The days can be agonizingly long, with only the dormitory for a day room. Sand crunches everywhere: in the beds, in their shoes, even in the cheap bread from the cafeteria. Omar spends his time walking along the dusty path between the campus and highway, completely immersed in the Koran.

The subject pursued by non-Arabic speakers most studiously is called tahfiz – learning the holy scripture by heart. A Muslim who has memorized all 6,236 verses of the Koran earns the right to be called a hafiz. In the homelands of the foreign students – the central Asian republic, Sri Lanka and the lawless steppes of Somalia – this title demands respect.

Ahmed Omar will not become a fullyfledged hafiz. The verses aside, his spoken Arabic is still halting, even after two years of university courses. Yet for students like him, theological training is secondary. While Yemeni nationals study exegesis of the Koran and Islamic jurisprudence for seven years, foreigners complete only a four-year crash course at the university. The aim is to dispatch them to the front lines as quickly as possible, as prayer leaders, men of faith. It’s all about dawa, missionary work. And about politics. For Ahmed Omar and the other Somalis, the destination is Ogadan, a Christian part of Ethiopia which is claimed by Muslims in neighboring Somalia.

At his university, Zindani is both a teacher and role model. His air of authority is almost palpable. When he smiles, his students beam. When he scowls, his companions’ expressions darken. It’s like a whole bank of lights switching on and off. The Americans suspect Zindani of supporting al Qaeda and have demanded that Yemen arrest him. Politically, however, that would be perilous for the government in Sanaa. So head of state, Ali Abdulla Salih, visited Zindani’s madrasah before the presidential elections this autumn, reiterating to an audience of thousands that only theologians, not terrorists, were enrolled – a claim at odds with the conclusions of Western secret services. After Saudis and Afghanis, Yemeni prisoners comprise the third-largest contingent among the inmates at Guantanamo Bay. There are historical reasons for this.

Before 1990, the country was divided between a North dominated by tribes and the communist South. Even after unification, the Yemeni Marxists continued their resistance.

Ideological bulwark

In addition to attacking the rebels, the North built dozens of Islamic madrasahs, creating an ideological bulwark against the secular South. The projects were largely funded by Saudi patrons, who had launched similar education drives elsewhere in the early 1990s – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Nigeria, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Islam that they spread was the purist doctrine that originated with Sunni preacher Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab during the 18th century, and has become the state religion in Saudi Arabia today. His followers, called Wahhabis by outsiders, now generally describe themselves as Salafis. Together with their other Muslim brothers, they form the vanguard of modern Islamic fundamentalism, and increasingly dictate the curricula of private religious seminaries in Morocco, Bangladesh and Yemen. “We are the allies of the government in the jihad against the communists,” was how Sheikh Abu al-Hassan al-Mazri described the situation when he was head of Dar al-Hadith, a particularly radical seminary in the desert city of Marib.

Some 5,000 students were soon registered at Sheikh Zindani’s al-Iman University, hundreds of them from abroad. Where they came from and exactly where many were heading emerged after September 11, 2001. Under pressure from Washington, the government in Sanaa revised its stance on madrasahs and deported dozens of foreign students – Arabs, Asians, Americans, Europeans and Africans. Others left of their own accord before the Yemeni secret service caught up with them. Not all of them returned home. John Walker Lindh, the convicted Taliban from San Anselmo, California, was picked up by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Even today, Iman graduates are surfacing as “foreign fighters” in Iraq. The battle against communism in Yemen has left a terrible legacy.

Sheikh Zindani denies that his university is part of the Islamic terrorist network, saying that it teaches the superior wisdom of the Koran – and nothing more. Every single discovery in modern science, he maintains, is anticipated in the holy book – from the existence of black holes (“The heavens open and turn into gates”) to photosynthesis (“We have brought forth plants of every type, and from them produced green”).

Religious indoctrination and the training of jihadists

And then there’s the story of the coccyx (the small bone at the base of the spine): “These young men,” the sheikh says, pointing to the five students before him, “have proven that the coccyx of all vertebrates is indestructible: it cannot be destroyed by fire or sulfuric acid. The coccyx is the origin of all human life, which is exactly what the Koran says.” In light of such insights, how can anyone dare to ask about terrorism? For Zindani, this is an insult. “And these men,” he asks, outraged, “should be required to prove that they are not terrorists?”

In just five years the word “madrasah” has become a battle cry in a clash of civilizations. Before 9/11 the term was all but unknown in the West. Today, it stands synonymous for the aggressive elements in Islam, religious indoctrination and the training of jihadists. But in its literal translation, the Arabic word “madrasah” simply means “a school, or place of learning,” and for many Muslims the Koran school truly is the only hope of education – as it is in the small town of Tarim in Yemen’s Hadhramaut region, where the children are tutored by Sheikh Omar.

“Send a color copy of your passport in advance,” instructs the website where the Dar al-Mustafa madrasah advertises its summer courses. More specifically, applicants are asked to submit both the page with the photograph and any pages with visa stamps from three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel. Visitors with Israeli stamps in their passports aren’t alone in facing holdups when entering Yemen. Travelers who have been to the Hindu Kush are suspect as well. The Koran schools are required to forward all student data to the police, and the foreign embassies in Sanaa also keep records of any nationals who study at Yemeni madrasahs.

Amin Winter (25) comes from the UK; Hassan Ritter (29) from Germany. Winter has been studying here for the past three years. Ritter, who wears the traditional gown of religious scholars, comes occasionally for a refresher course. The Briton says he is sure that MI6, the British foreign secret service, keeps a file on him. Ritter was warned by one policeman in Dresden: “Work on the basis that the national intelligence service is tracking your movements.”

During the nights of Ramadan, Winter and Ritter sit together with dozens of other students in the garden of their seminary, listening to Sheikh Omar’s recitations. They are studying in a country that has attracted Muslims for centuries, above all from Java and Sumatra. The Islamization of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, was inspired by Yemeni merchants and their Sufi masters in the Hadhramaut – one reason why moderate forms of the faith have prevailed in Southeast Asia to the present day.

“What do you expect me to tell you about bin Laden?”

The Dar al-Mustafa madrasah lists its courses on its website: jurisprudence, the study of the Sharia, Arabic grammar and the exegesis of the Koran. “What is taught here is the undisputed core of Islamic learning, the Sunni orthodoxy,” says Ritter. “By comparison, the politically charged Salafism is a very young movement.”

Nevertheless, Western perceptions of Islam today almost completely focus on fundamentalist Muslims. This is primarily due to the most iconic figure of militant Islamism – Osama bin Laden – that the German Ritter is regularly taken aside at immigration in Dubai Airport and asked where he has come from and where he is headed. Bin Laden’s father came from a village in the Hadhramaut, emigrating to Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. Born in Riyadh, his son Osama was raised in the Wahhabite tradition. He has never returned to the land of his forefathers. “What do you expect me to tell you about bin Laden?” says Winter, shrugging his shoulders. “You know as much about him as I do.”

In the end, the response to modern jihadism, to the radicalization of young Muslims, can only come from within Islam itself, from its splendid tradition of scholarship that has been stifled in many countries, Winter says. He has one more year of his course to complete, then wants to return to Edinburgh – as the Imam of a Muslim community. Of a moderate community? He is reluctant to answer in these terms. “Orthodox Islam is intrinsically moderate,” he counters. “At any rate, my government would be wise to place their faith in people like us.”

Habib Ali Sein al-Jifri, one of the top students at Dar al-Mustafa, could be living proof of this theory. At the height of the Mohammed cartoon controversy in March 2006, he traveled to Copenhagen with other Muslim scholars and met with the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Competition from within

Winter’s recommendation fits with the advice given by British diplomat Alexander Evans following his 2005 tour – undertaken on behalf of the British Foreign Office – of madrasahs in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Evans published a report in the U.S. magazine Foreign Affairs, hoping to provide guidelines for Western governments. There are problem madrasahs that teach ‘poison,’ Evans argues, but most states had the laws needed to proceed against these schools and their radical preachers. Western politicians would do well not to demonize madrasahs per se, he said: “They should encourage modernization but avoid insisting on secularization,” as that would be taken as a declaration of war on Muslim education. “Reform of the madrasah system,” he concludes, “will ultimately be spurred by competition from within – and the more competition, the better.”

In the fourth grade of the Dar al-Mustafa primary school, 18 ten-yearolds are sitting at their desks in the lotus position. There are no chairs. They are wearing children’s white dishdashas and small caps. Fans are rotating on the ceiling. The textbook the children have opened is titled The Sciences. Today’s subject is biology – but not the biology of the coccyx from which God is said to have created humankind, but the constituents of air. “What is the name of the gas that we need to breathe?” the teacher asks. “Ox – yyyy – gen!!!” the children shout. “Is it healthy to smoke cigarettes?” the teacher asks. “No! It makes us sick!”

According to the school’s principal, Hamid – Sheikh Omar’s son, the youngest descendant of the prophet in his father’s lineage – is one of his best students. At age five he can already recite passages from the Koran. In another five years, he will be initiated into oxygen and the other gases that make up air. Needless to say, Hamid is expected to become an illustrious scholar. And what if he would rather be a physician? “Then he’ll be a physician,” his father says.