While Muslims are “the best nation ever brought forth to men” (3:110), the “unbelievers of the People of the Book” (that is, Jews and Christians who have refused to become Muslim) “and the idolaters” are the “worst of creatures” (98:6). This contempt for non-Muslims in Pakistani school textbooks thus comes as no surprise, and of course represents no actual misunderstanding of Islam at all. But the learned analysts in the West will ignore this and continue to assume that Islam is something it is not now and never has been throughout its history: peaceful and tolerant.
Lahore (AsiaNews) – School textbooks that promote religious fanaticism, discriminate against minorities and trigger religious conflicts: Pakistani schools are – once again – the object of attention and study of Catholic NCJP activists who, in a detailed report, have examined the basic elements of discrimination of sectarian origins. In the report titled ” Fanatic Literacy or Education,” the National Commission for Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church invites a rethink of school curricula, so that even Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and those belonging to minorities in Pakistan can deepen the study of their religion. Currently they are obliged to learn the basics of Islam, as practiced in some areas of the country, including Punjab.
The report shows that thousands of non-Muslim students are “forced” to study Islam and elements of the Muslim religion, for fear of discrimination. Among these, the decision taken by the Parliament of Punjab – one of the provinces of Pakistan – and approved “unanimously” that makes the study of the Koran mandatory. And non-Muslims “are not offered a viable alternative.” At the same time, even in subjects like social sciences and linguistics about 20% of the content is linked to Islam. Again: the non-Muslim students are given the extra bonus of 20 points, reserved to those who deepen Islamic studies….
Finally, the report says that religions other than Islam are viewed “with contempt and prejudice.” Faced with a situation that is becoming increasingly critical, Justice and Peace calls for a substantial change in the educational policy and the opportunity for Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and students of other religions to deepen the knowledge of their own faith or, alternatively, have access to ethics and civic education.