A recent talk show on the Egyptian station Al Hafiz partially explains why it is that Islam’s clerics are staunchly against discussing Christian or biblical teachings in Egyptian schoolrooms—even as the teaching of the Quran is mandatory, for both Muslim and Christian students.
Discussing Christianity’s teachings concerning women, one of the guests, a sheikh dressed in traditional cleric garb, said they “truly stab the rulings of Islam.” To exemplify, he read from a text that said “the Christian religion does not differentiate between women and men, but it confirms their perfect equality: it gives them an equal share in inheritance, it bans divorce, and it bans polygamy.”
“Now,” said the sheikh, “if my son hears such things while he’s in school, he’ll come home and say to me, ‘Father why do you have many wives? You are unjust—unlike Christianity which is full of justice’!”
He went on to say that such teachings completely contradict “the religion of the prophet,” who of course had many wives—more than the Quran’s prescribed four—made divorce a simple matter for men, and decreed that females only inherit half of what males inherit.
The cleric complained that, based on such Christian teachings, Muslim men who try to exercise their Islamic rights—including polygamy, double-inheritance, and easy divorce (recent examples include via text-messaging)—become “criminals, and the religion [Islam] that taught them such things taught them crimes.”
The cleric concluded by saying it is impermissible “to produce texts that contradict the teachings of the Quran, or the practices we’ve been raising our children on for a million years.”