An excerpt from a study done by Latika Chaudhary and Jared Rubin (Scripps College and California State University – Fullerton, respectively).
Religion affects literacy in complex ways
Religion affects everything in human societies, from politics and family life to education. Religious factors may even play into economic outcomes for different groups. In India, for example, Muslims have historically lagged behind Hindus and other religious groups when it comes to literacy rates. What’s more, literacy rates among Muslims are generally lower in districts with high proportions of Muslim inhabitants. Now, researchers from California are suggesting that these numbers may be telling a much more complicated story about the history of India, colonialism, and religious education.
Chaudhary and Rubin found that Muslim literacy rates weren’t just lower in general than Hindu literacy rates – Muslims who lived in areas with proportionally higher concentrations of Muslim inhabitants were also less literate than those who lived in more diverse areas. Something about living around greater numbers of Hindus, Sikhs, and members of other Indian groups seemed to encourage Muslim literacy.
…..they hit upon an interesting fact: it wasn’t the proportion of Muslim inhabitants in any given district that best predicted literacy rates among Muslims. Instead, it was the length of time that had elapsed since Muslim rule had ended in that area. The longer it had been since Muslim rule had collapsed in a given region, the higher the literacy rates were among Muslim inhabitants.
…Since madrasas tended to focus almost exclusively on religious education, especially memorization of the Koran, overall literacy among madrasa students tended to be lower than among students at secular institutions.
Madrasa education, while providing a strong foundation for Muslim scholarship and understanding of the Koran, did not prioritize general literacy in the same way that the Indian public education system did. Thus, the greater the proportion of school-aged children in a given region who attended madrasas rather than public schools, the lower the literacy rates in that region. In areas where Muslim rulership had recently collapsed, the overall proportion of Muslim inhabitants tended to be higher, making the census data seem to indicate that higher proportions of Muslims in a population led to lower literacy rates among believers in Islam.
The simple fact is that Muslims came to this country as robbers, marauders.