Students claim seminary brainwashing
Islamabad, July 20: Two former students of a religious school for females attached to an Islamabad mosque that security forces stormed say the contradictions between the life inside the seminary and that outside convinced them of how "artificial, sinful and un-Islamic" the latter was.
The students in their early 20s agreed to speak on condition of protecting their identity using the pseudonyms Raheela and Tanzeela.
They expressed concern about the fate of dozens of orphaned students who, they claim, were brought to the seminary from different parts of Pakistani Kashmir and Northwestern Frontier province after the devastating earthquake struck these areas in October 2005.
"We fear that they are either dead or have been abducted during the operation," Tanzeela said.
Raheela was forced to quit the seminary some three months back by her parents when she told them about the oath of sacrificing life for their teachers' cause.
Tanzeela was taken home on last Friday by her family that feared for their daughter's life.
"The thrust of education was to convince and preach to the westernised people outside the four- walled premises to embrace and adopt Islamic code of life," the students added.
"Our teachers justified raiding residences and business concerns and use of force at places where they thought some activity contrary to the Islamic teachings were being carried out," Tanzeela said. The teachers at the Jamia used to quote several sayings of the religious teachers about using force against people who are against Islamic teachings, she added.
The students felt a gradual change in their thinking and psyche a few months after they joined the seminary. Soon they began to believe that the men who did not grow beards or those who donned Western attire were no less than non-Muslims and should be punished according to the code of Sharia.
Similarly all the girls and women, who don't cover their bodies with burqa or a shawl, were tagged as followers of an alien culture. Gulf news