Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Teaching English as a Second Language
There is not much research written about the relationship between education and the rise of terrorism. Some scholars have urged for educative response to end terrorism (Krueger and Maleckova, 2003; Brockhoff et al., 2015; Malazada, 2016; Illiteracy rates drop in Iraq: Government, 2014) In his study, Brockhoff et al., (2015) found that when country specific factors like the economic situation and political representation were unfavorable, education is the reason some individuals become terrorists. Abrifor (2008) concluded that abuse of students in Nigeria lead them to get involved in criminal activities, suicide bombing and terrorism. In light of these studies, it is legitimate to think that the problems facing the Iraqi educational system and the low quality of education are the main causes that fuel terrorism. Every Iraqi citizen knows that education in Iraq is deteriorating. However, the governments of Iraq have not tried to improve the educational system to make it resistant to terrorism. This study tries to find out if the Iraqi citizens who studied their whole life in the Iraqi educational system and who have suffered or know someone who have suffered from terrorism think that education in Iraq is responsible for the spread of terrorism in the country. The study also aims to find out if the respondents think that improving the educational system in Iraq can potentially exterminate terrorism from the country. Additionally, the study tries to find out the main issues that Iraqi education policymakers need to address so that education can be used as counterterrorism. For the study, a survey was used as the main method of data collection. The survey was posted on Facebook groups and 666 respondents answered it. The study found that most of respondents think that there is a relationship between education and terrorism in Iraq. The study also found that most of respondents think that improving the Iraqi educational system can exterminate terrorism in Iraq. In addition to that, the study found that the majority of respondents think that Iraqi educational system must be improved and unified to introduce students to different point of views, religions, and cultures, be inclusive and secular to promote pluralism in the country, and stop using or teaching about violence in schools. Furthermore, respondents favored that the goals of education must be given importance not the curriculum itself and that critical thinking is taught to help students be able to think objectively before adopting certain ideology. An important issue that the study found is that the majority of respondents think that history and Islamic education must be modified and their books must be rewritten to include other religions and ethnic groups in the country. This study suggests that the educational system in Iraq must be improved as soon as possible to tackle the issue of terrorism. The Iraqi educational system must be modified to be secular and inclusive. Islamic Education must be changed into either “Citizenship Education or Teaching about Religions” that many countries around the world have adopted. Therefore, it is important that teaching religion becomes non-denominational so that all students can feel welcomed and equal in the classroom.
Sulaiman, Thanaa, "Education as Counter Terrorism in Iraq" (2017). English (TESOL) Master Theses. 2.