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Moeed Yusuf’s study published by the Brooking’s Institution is based on a dataset of roughly 350 people in Swat and Malakand. i It’s not clear whether it includes female opinion too. The conclusions extrapolated from this data in two areas of NWFP were later applied to the rest of the country. The study links radicalization amongst youth with poverty, poor education; including religious education, poor governance and Pakistan’s poor image abroad especially after 9/11. ii Yusuf also tries to argue that the education system is class oriented which results in youth schooled through the state system of education being unable to gain employment in the job market. The lack of gainful employment is a huge issue in a limited job market. Although Pakistan’s employment figures are 5%, experts believe that this category also includes a lot of self-employed people as well. The agriculture sector, where people have small farms, or the small to medium sized trader/merchants often utilize their children in family business. So, official figures are hardly a correct representation of what the economy offers to the youth. Furthermore, Yusuf stipulates that given the inbuilt disparity in the education system, a lot of young people end up going to religious seminaries (madrassahs). Such schools attract poor youth and an under-paid and under-qualifies faculty (even on religious issues), thus generating a poor understanding of religion, religious principles and limited worldview. Such upbringing compounded with the country’s problematic socio-political culture is bound to reduce options for poor youth then to divert to extremist ideology. The study does not explore problems of madrassah education or contest the nature of ideology that the youth seem to subscribe to. For instance, the author argues that the insistence on secularizing Pakistan should be discontinued as it creates a wedge between the west and the Muslims in Pakistan. He believes that Pakistan “…abhors secularism and extremism at the same time.’ iii

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Red Hot Chilli Peppers Islam – Is the Youth in Elite Universities in Pakistan Radical?  

This is a study, by Ayesha Siddiqa, of the socio-political attitudes amongst youth in elite universities in the three major cities in Pakist...

Red Hot Chilli Peppers Islam – Is the Youth in Elite Universities in Pakistan Radical?  

This is a study, by Ayesha Siddiqa, of the socio-political attitudes amongst youth in elite universities in the three major cities in Pakist...

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