Film-makers Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi worked for six years to get close to the cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz and gain an insight into the network of madrassas that he runs from the Red Mosque in Pakistan. The mosque has become a symbol of a new wave of extremism evident in many religious schools in Pakistan.
Trivedi was drawn to this project when one of her friends was killed in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008 – attacks that were blamed on members of a Pakistani militant group. “The biggest divide in Pakistan is in the area of education,” she says, “and so I decided to make a film about ideological conflict in Pakistan in the field of education and how a fringe minority is taking over a way of life of the vast majority of Pakistanis”.
In addition to Abdul Aziz and his followers, the film looks at liberal and moderate Muslims who counter the ideology put forth in the Red Mosque’s madrassas with a peaceful vision of the faith.
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