San Bernardino shooting: Shooter a 'good girl', says madrassa teacher

One of the accused had attended a madrassa in Pakistan that, according to critics, had a Taliban-like ideology

Multan: The woman who with her husband shot dead 14 people in a social services centre in California's San Bernardino last week attended one of Pakistan's most high-profile religious seminaries for women, a teacher at the madrassa said yesterday.

A Pakistani student arrives at Al-Huda Institute in Multan
A Pakistani student arrives at Al-Huda Institute in Multan. Pic/AFP

Tashfeen Malik, 29, studied at the Al-Huda Institute in Multan, which targets middle-class women seeking to come closer to Islam and also has offices in the US, the UAE, India and the UK, said the teacher at the seminary, who gave her name only as Muqadas.

The institute has no known extremist links, though it has come under fire in the past from critics who say its ideology echoes that of the Taliban.

Influenced husband?
Investigators suspect that Malik, who spent extended periods of time in both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, may have radicalised her husband Syed Farook. The probe is trying to establish if she had contact with Islamic radicals in either country.

'Good girl'
The teacher did not say when Malik studied at the seminary, but fellow classmates at the Bahauddin Zakariya University said she had attended the madrassa after classes at the university, which she attended from 2007-2012.

"It was a two-year course, but she did not finish it. She was a good girl. I don't know why she left and what happened to her," said the teacher.

About Al-Huda

Al-Huda, founded in 1994, is one of the most well-known female madrassas in the country which are thought to teach many students each year. Unlike other such seminaries, it mainly targets Pakistan’s influential middle and upper classes, often holding religious study circles inside members’ houses.

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