We’ve heard this kind of talk before, but will changing school textbooks actually help discourage jihad or change the traditional interpretations of Islamic law? From the International Herald Tribune, with thanks to Skeet Street.
AMMAN, Jordan By Middle Eastern standards, Jordanian schoolbooks are relatively free of bombast. But some textbooks used here to teach Islamic culture contain nefarious conspiracies that just will not go away.
There is the Western plot to divide the Muslim world. There is the conniving Jew seeking to destroy Islam. And there is the call for a return to the faith in response.
But if a committee reviewing the country’s Islamic curriculum has its way, such talk, at least in the current form, is likely to become history. Facing growing extremism and rising security threats, educators are seeking to revamp their religious studies curriculum to cultivate a more thoughtful and open mind in a country that is among the more moderate of Arab states.
The effort to foster more moderate expressions of Islam is decidedly ambitious for an Arab government, but also very delicate.
Ostensibly, it seeks to inoculate Jordanian youth against extremism, although some critics complain that it is really an effort to ward off foreign pressure, especially from the United States, on which Jordan has grown increasingly dependent…