Still learning jihad
ISLAMABAD: The National Committee on Curriculum (NCC) has agreed that there was no deletion of verses and chapters regarding jihad or holy war from Islamiyat textbooks.
A NCC meeting was held on Tuesday presided over by Federal Minister for Education Zubaida Jalal. Qari Abdul Rashid, a co-author of the Islamiyat textbooks, told the NCC that no Arabic verses or chapters on Jihad have been totally deleted from Islamiyat textbooks that are part of the syllabi for the Secondary School and Higher School certificates.
Mr Rashid said that longer verses like Sura-e-Saff [Sura 61 of the Qur’an] and Sura-e-Mumthehena [Sura 60] that also urge for jihad were, added to the revised curricula in 2002. In April 2003, a committee of four authors, was put together to write an Islamiyat textbook for the whole country, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The committee was constituted by the curriculum wing of the federal ministry for education, a press release said on Tuesday.
Mr Rashid said that after the book was completed, it was presented to another review committee that was made up of representatives from all five wafaks (religious sects) and other stakeholders. The committee approved the entire contents of the book, which included verses and chapters on jihad.
In view of this, Mr Rashid said he was surprised that the Muttahida-Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and a section of the press had blamed the federal minister for education for deleting verses on jihad from the textbooks. Mr Rashid told the committee that eminent Islamic scholars, including Qari Hanif Jallundhri, Dr Mohammad Sarfraz Naeemi of Tanzeem-ul-Madaris and Mohammad Younas of the Wafak-ul-Madaris of Faisalabad and many other Islamic scholars had approved the book and signed a draft of it.
Ms Jalal told the committee that since the issue at hand is of extreme national importance, she has also summoned the authors of the Islamiayat textbook, so that the MMA’s assumptions could be cleared. Ms Jalal said that according to the curriculum guidelines provided to the provincial textbook boards, there were no directives from the federal ministry of education to include or exclude specific material.
Dr Fareeda Ahmad, who represented the MMA at the meeting, also agreed that no verses and chapters on jihad had been deleted from the Islamiyat textbooks. While talking to Daily Times, Dr Ahmad said that she had only agreed on the issue of jihad-related verses that the government had told the MMA that despite Surrah Tooba, the government has also included other Quranic verses related to jihad in the curricula.