MEMRI Publishes Pakistani Research Linking Engineering Disciplines and Militant Extremism
WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / August 1, 2018 / The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) recently published excerpts from an article written by Pakistani columnist Kamila Hayat that examines the link between religious extremism and engineering disciplines, which promote regimented thinking among students.
“Within Pakistan as well as beyond,” said Hayat, “there has been much focus on madrassas or seminaries promoting extremism through their teachings and philosophy. However, new research points to an unexpected link between the study of science, particularly engineering, and these militant teachings.”
The issue was discussed in detail at a panel discussion held at the recent Karachi Literature Festival, where leading academicians suggested that one reason which explained the growth of extremist mindsets on university campus and elsewhere, was a strong focus on teaching subjects that are rooted in technology, management or science. The dean of the prestigious Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi argued that the failure to direct sufficient attention to the study of liberal arts has bound students’ capacity to think creatively and question what they are being taught.
In a new academic work that studies the connection between extremism and education, researchers Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog found that a disproportionate number of militants had studied engineering or related fields in their universities.
With Princeton University and other centers of academic excellence conducting their own analysis, the issue is receiving more and more attention around the world. “There is obviously much to debate about this hypothesis,” commented MEMRI. “There is no doubt that it will be questioned and that people will come up with different conclusions. What can’t be denied is that an education in the liberal arts promotes critical problem solving and rational thinking.”
About The South Asia Media Studies Project:
This project is vital to understanding the South Asian region that includes Pakistan and Afghanistan. Initially launched as the Urdu-Pashtu Media Project in January 2008, it was expanded as MEMRI’s South Asia Studies Project in 2010. Since its inception, it has published reports and in-depth analytical research papers tracking and analyzing trends in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The themes covered have included cultural and religious freedom, terrorism, and emerging threats to international security; all are of significant value to the international counterterrorism community.
Exploring the Middle East and South Asia through their media, MEMRI bridges the language gap between the West and the Middle East and South Asia, providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, Urdu-Pashtu, Dari, and Turkish media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends.
Founded in February 1998 to inform the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East, MEMRI is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. MEMRI’s main office is located in Washington, DC, with branch offices in various world capitals. MEMRI research is translated into English, French, Polish, Japanese, Spanish and Hebrew.
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