Teach your children well. Rather amazing, is it not, that statements like these are made anywhere in the world, and people take them for granted and consider those who make them to be the victims of “Islamophobia.”
Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Religious Affairs Ministry banned the distribution of an Islamic religious textbook for high school grades that contain radical religious notions.
Alarm bells were set off after controversial content was found in an exercise book for 11th graders in Jombang, East Java.
Indonesia’s Minister of Education and Culture Anies Rasyid Baswedan gave the order to pull all the copies of the textbook and announced an investigation into the case. The government’s quick response prevented it from being distributed to the country’s schools.
The textbook contained notions based on the radical Wahhabi school of thought (which is dominant in Saudi Arabia). Page 78, for example, says, “People who worship anything other than Allah are infidels and it is permitted to kill them.”
Moderate Muslim leaders slammed the textbook. Kamaruddin Amin, director general for Islamic education at the Ministry, said he was disturbed by the story. “Just imagine if the book had been distributed throughout Indonesia and had been read by 57 million children.”
According to Kamaruddin, the textbook’s authors (whose identity has not been revealed yet) do not understand the democratic identity that Indonesia has developed in recent decades. “The authors have to understand Indonesia’s diversity.”
Even Salahudin Wahid, an Islamic cleric, condemned the Wahhabi doctrine contained in textbooks. In his view, they contradict the values of Islam. “Killing people is not allowed,” he added.
According to Minister Baswedan, the inclusion of extremist material in textbooks is the result of a rushed job. “The quality of the book has been compromised. This should not have happened,” he said.
The fight against Islamic extremism is one of the biggest challenges the Indonesian government is currently facing. Not only are some Indonesians eagerly joining the Islamic State group, but domestic extremist groups have been battling government troops at home.
Faced with threats of extremist influence in communication media, Rudiantara, the minister of Communication and Information, also set up a task force to counter websites containing material glorifying Islamic radicalism.
The team will also include Islamic clerics, some from the Ulema Council.
That’ll fix it.