Misplaced Utopia: Education and extremism – The case of Pakistan

Farid Panjwani, Zulfiqar Khimani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Since the rise of the Taliban in the mid-1990s, madrasas in Pakistan as well in other parts of the world received massive attention as institutions perceived as creating a fertile ground for the propagation of extremist ideology. Though many scholars have challenged this simple association between extremism and madrasas, the connection persists in public and media imagination. More recent scholarship has argued for a more complex understanding of the links between education and extremism in the country, observing that a new generation of extremists is often educated in institutions of higher learning, and not madrasas. This has raised new questions about the role of education in the fight against extremism. This paper will explore these questions in the context of Pakistan, by situating them in the background of the relationship between the state and religion, and the rise of extremism in the country. It will also provide some considerations on the ways education can be a part of the solution by rethinking the role of the humanities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation and Extremisms
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Liberal Pedagogies in the Contemporary World
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315303109
ISBN (Print)9781138236110
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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