After 9/11, the Taleban movement established itself again in Afghanistan, and the number of suicide attacks steadily increased. Schools became a battlefield for in-fluence between the state and insurgents. The paper explores the roots of militancy and violence against schools. As suicide attacks have become part of the Taleban’s military strategy, the education background of suicide bombers is examined. Recent studies allow a brief sketch of the mindset and attitudes of the Taleban movement towards education. At the same time, madrasas, religious education institutions, are linked to international terrorism. They are suspected of fostering fundamentalist views and training Taleban fighters. This has led to misconceptions about madrasa educa-tion in general and its role in Afghanistan in particular. The misconceptions about the role of madrasas in Afghanistan are analysed and the efforts of the Afghan Ministry of Education to reform Islamic education discussed. Even when the crisis over schools was at its height, negotiations between the communities and the local Taliban continued. It thus remains to be seen whether the reopening of schools indicates greater flexibility towards education on the part of the majority of the Taleban.