What's the Latest Development?
Pakistani parents living abroad who want their children to have the benefit of religious instruction -- ideally without any potential radical influences included -- have the option of paying a teacher via one of hundreds of online sites based in their home country. Property developer Fawad Rana says it's worth the £30 a month he sends to Faiz-e-Quran, one of the larger companies, for his sons' lessons: "[T]he last thing kids want to do is spend half an hour travelling to the nearest mosque and then not even getting 10 minutes of one-on-one tuition." Faiz-e-Quran's staff of 13 work from an office in Lahore, and provide instruction to 200 students from all over the world.
What's the Big Idea?
Although the exact number of students taking advantage of outsourced Qu'ran instruction from Pakistan is unknown, the general belief is that it's increasing. Also increasing are more one-man operations, which appeal to those with religious training who are having a hard time finding regular work. Unfortunately, it's not always clear which instructors may have a radical Islamist background or are teaching such views. Faiz-e-Quran owner Sultan Chaudri says that when he first opened his business, parents were wary, but now "[they realise] that there is no risk because they can see the lessons right in front of their own eyes."
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