The Haqqaniya Madrasa

In a recent book written by Hassan Abbas about the Taliban’s return to power, the role of the Haqqaniya madrasa in leading the Taliban has been explained. He also mentioned in an interview that half of the members of the Taliban cabinet are graduates of this madrasa. The presence of Haqqaniya madrasa graduates in the war and politics of Afghanistan is not a new phenomenon. Jalaluddin Haqqani, the father of the current Haqqani network, was one of the first fighters whose intellectual and educational background led him to this madrasa.

Haqqaniya madrasa has been involved in Afghan affairs since 1990 and, in addition to supporting the Taliban, has had a greater share than other Pakistani madrasas in producing fighters for this group. In those years when the US and foreign forces were not present and there were conflicts between the Taliban and the Mujahedin, the hands of the Dewbandi leaders, especially the administrators of Haqqaniya Madrasa, were stained with blood. Cruelty, apparent violence, and severe sectarian prejudices were among the characteristics for which the elders of Haqqaniya Madrasa were famous. Like any other violent movement in history, bloodshed, and crime ultimately caught up with the leaders of this group, and several well-known supporters of the Taliban were brutally murdered, including Mawlawi Sami-ul-Haq, the head of Haqqaniya madrasa, Mawlawi Hassan Jan, the head of Emdad-ul-Olum madrasa, and Colonel Imam, a senior ISI officer who was a religious extremist.

The question that needs to be pondered is whether these schools and similar ones were truly created to promote knowledge and virtue, or for intelligence purposes in proxy wars. Have these madrasas actually helped to elevate the morality of these societies? To find the answer to this question, we can compare these madrasas to reputable universities in the world and see if they have also played a role in training soldiers and sending them to the battlefield. Is the duty of madrasas to produce knowledge and wisdom or to produce war and violence? This issue alone can show why our societies are lagging behind both scientifically and morally and why the cycle of violence and bloodshed is so rapid and widespread.

In fact, promoting religious madrasas in Pakistan was part of a foreign policy that was taken by the government of this country in cooperation with some Arab countries, and it was consistent with the intelligence policies of the United States and Britain during the Cold War era.

The neighboring countries of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, both have regimes named the Islamic Republic and the role of religious seminaries in Iran is very similar to Pakistani madrasas. Interestingly, there is a school in Tehran called Haqqani Madrasa and some of the most controversial extremist people in Iran have been affiliated with this madrasa, such as Mesbah Yazdi, Ahmad Jannati, Mohseni Ejhayi, Ali Fallahiyan, and others.

Today, Afghanistan is not only under the grip of the Haqqani group, but it is even more dangerous to have Shaikhs with Haqqani titles who are agents of suppressing millions of citizens of Afghanistan. The spirit of the Haqqaniya Madrasa, like a wandering ghost, follows every citizen of this society to its most private layers of life. Unless decisive action is taken to dismantle the Haqqani group, peace and stability will not be achieved in these communities and citizens will not be freed from sectarian tensions.