Madrasas generally taught calculation, grammar, poetry, history and above all the Qur’an and sacred law. At a higher level they taught literary subjects and arithmetic. While memorization of texts was emphasized, personal instruction, lectures and imitation of the teacher by students were also held to be crucial to minimize errors in religious understanding.
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While some Lebanese have shown solidarity with refugees, there are growing tensions over resources and jobs. Even as the conflict in Syria continues, Lebanese politicians have become increasingly vocal since 2017 in calling for the refugees to go home. Since 2016, some municipalities have forcibly evicted Syrian refugees from their homes. Growing numbers of those living in Lebanon worry that they will be forced to return to a war zone.
Like the hotspots before them, the new “controlled centres” leave the Dublin asylum rules untouched. But there is a key lesson to be learnt: the new centres will need to guarantee access to adequate asylum procedures, unlike the hotspots. As the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, emphasised in a statement about the proposals, people will also need to be housed in dignifying living conditions.
The Syrian regime wanted to stay in power at all costs, whereas the opposition wanted to topple the regime with the help of foreign military and political support, and kept insisting that this was its aim, even after it was on the verge of losing the war. The opposing political positions remained too far apart for any real negotiations to be able to be successful. Apparently, there was not any mediating party that was able to induce either side to moderate its position so as to be able to reach a compromise. Both sides considered it to be a struggle for life or death with hardly any room for compromise. With the increase of the numbers of deadly victims, refugees and destruction, the room for compromise – if there had ever been any room for compromise in the first place – ceased to exist.
Switzerland has been engaged in numerous activities that contribute in an indirect way to PVE in Tunisia. Switzerland lends support to SSR, particularly with regard to improving oversight and building up civil society’s capacity to push for reform within the security sector. Further initiatives aimed at transforming relations between youth and police at the local level would be worthy of support, particularly those that aim at facilitating dialogue. This would not only help to build trust between young people and police officers, but also to establish policing priorities and provide early warning mechanisms.
North Africa countries have adopted an overwhelmingly legalistic approach to returning foreign fighters. In line with the 2014 UNSC Resolution 2178, which required countries to take steps to address the foreign fighter phenomenon, most countries (with the exception of Libya) now have legal frameworks for prosecuting returning foreign fighters, for the most part for having joined a terrorist group abroad. Therefore, returning foreign fighters who are detected at official ports of entry will face arrest.