Congressman McCaul Urges Musharraf to Free American Children Held in Islamic Institution


AUSTIN: July 11, 2008. In a face to face meeting in Islamabad, Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) urged Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to help free two American citizens

from an Islamic religious institution in the Middle East - the type which have been directly linked to the spawn of anti-American terrorism in the region that is the front line of the global war on terror. In their July 4 meeting President Musharraf assured Rep. McCaul that the teenagers would be released. The US Ambassador to Pakistanalso gave assurances that they would be released, as early as this week. "This demonstrates why we need to focus our resources on the epicenter of the war on terror in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region," said Rep. McCaul. "The madrassas come to America and recruit children to indoctrinate them into Islamic extremism." "These American boys should be released immediately. Pakistan has a policy to exclude foreigners from these madrassas including Americans. However, the policy has failed so far." Within hours of Congressman McCaul's meeting with President Musharraf, Pakistan's new civilian government announced it would continue Musharraf's madrassas' reform policy which includes expulsion of foreign students, registration with the federal government, control of their funding and standardization of their curricula. Noor Elahi Khan, 17, and Mahboob Elahi Khan, 16, of Atlanta,GA, are being held at the Jamia Binoria Institute in Karachi, recognized by both the U.S. and Pakistani governments as one of the most radical madrassas in Pakistan. Exit visas issued by the Pakistani government are holding up their departure. The boys enrolled in Binoria in August 2004, and have expressed the desire to leave Pakistan since their arrival. Despite attempts to free these children, and Pakistan's policy that madrassas must expel any foreign students, including Americans, Mufti Muhammad Naeem, the head and founder of the Binoria madrassa, continues to hold these Americans in a show of political strength against the government. According to Naeem, the Khans are among 80 Americans enrolled in his madrassa. It is believed that there are 600 American boys being educated in 22 madrassas In Pakistan. The sole curriculum is to memorize the Koran. Well into their high school years the Khans have been denied a formal education.

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