Close madarsas teaching extremism: Congressman
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 14:40
Washington: An eminent US Congressman Wednesday demanded an immediate closure of madarsas adhering to the Deobandi school of thought in Pakistan, charging that they were churning out terrorists.

Congressman Ed Royce, Co-Chair of the India Caucus in House of Representative, also said that these schools were acting as recruiting ground for terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and should be shut down.

He was addressing a Congressional luncheon organised by the National Federation of Indian American Association (NFIA).

"Deobandi schools continue to churn out terrorists that attack democracies around the world. There are 800 specifically of these Deobandi schools that are focused on jihad in Pakistan," he claimed.

"Every graduating class, those young men are then approached and recruited as a result of that education that they receive in that type of radicalism and are recruited to carry out terror," Royce said.

"Our message is that those schools have to be shut down. The LeT campus have to be closed. Those individuals have to be brought to justice who had a hand in training these young people in terror. This must stop," said the Congressman, who serves on the International Terrorism Subcommittee in the House of Representative.

He said the administration should put enough pressure on the Pakistan government to close down the schools.

Addressing the gathering of eminent Indian Americans who had travelled from various parts of the country to attend this Congressional Luncheon, the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said India and the US over this past decade have forged closer relationship not only based on common values, but also on mutual interest.

"Clearly our two nations confront terrorism. We (India and the US) have an interest in peaceful handling of nuclear power. We do not want to see that spread beyond those nations who have responsibly handled their nuclear storage," Hoyer said.

He said it is important that India and the United States have a very close relationship.

Expressing concern over the proliferation and control of nuclear weapons, the House Majority Leader said: "One of the issues on terrorism that all of us know is western Pakistan, which is giving sanctuary to terrorists".

"Clearly that is in the best interest of America and all other people to try and defeat that area of terrorism," Hoyer said.


First Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 14:40

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