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Meena Sodhi | HENB | Karachi | May 17, 2016:: “I came to kill Hindus, it’s fun doing this”, said Pakistani terrorist captured after Udhampur attack held on just 5 August 2015.
Now read the following excerpts taken from Primary school textbooks taught in Pakistan.
“Hindu has always been an enemy of Islam”
(Urdu Class V, Punjab Textbook Board, Lahore, March 2002, p 108)
“The religion of the evil Hindus did not teach them good things — Hindus did not respect women”
(Muasherati Ulum for Class IV, Punjab Textbook Board, Lahore, 2005, p 81)
“Hindus worship in temples which are very narrow, dark and dirty places, where they worship fake gods in idols. Only one person can enter the temple at a time. In our mosques, on the other hand, all Muslims can say their prayers together”
(Muasherati Ulum for Class V, Punjab Textbook Board, Lahore, 1996, p 109 )
If you think these references are too old and might be omitted from the sources, you are wrong as the tradition of infusing hatred into the Muslim child psychology through text book curriculum in Pakistan is all time high as usual.
A new study released Tuesday found that Pakistan’s public school textbooks negatively portray the country’s religious minorities, including Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis, as “untrustworthy, religiously inferior, and ideologically scheming.”
The report, “Teaching Intolerance in Pakistan: Religious Bias in Public School Textbooks,” analyzed 78 textbooks from all four provinces covering grades five through 10.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) sponsored the study, which was conducted by the Pakistan-based NGO Peace and Education Foundation (PEF). The study found 70 new instances of bias in addition to finding that some problematic content found in a 2011 study conducted by USCIRF had remained and even been expanded upon.
“Pakistan’s public school textbooks contain deeply troubling content that portrays non-Muslim citizens as outsiders, unpatriotic, and inferior; are filled with errors; and present widely-disputed historical ‘facts’ as settled history,” USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George said in a statement on the report’s release. “Missing from these textbooks are any references to the rights of religious minorities and their positive contributions to Pakistan’s development.”
“These textbooks sadly reflect the alarming state today of religious freedom in Pakistan,” he concluded. “A country’s education system, including its textbooks, should promote religious tolerance, not close the door to cooperation and coexistence.”
The 52-page report contains many examples of a troubling portrayal of religious minorities in the public school textbooks.
A passage in an eighth grade Islamic Studies book published in 2015 as part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Curriculum describes jihad in a positive light.
“Prophet (PBUH) said that ‘Jihad will continue till the end of times’. Jihad is going on in different parts of the world. Many Mujahidins of Islam are participating in Jihad for sake of Allah, for protection of their religion, to help their oppressed brothers, and to get freedom from tyranny,” it read. “As a student if you cannot practically participate in Jihad you can at least financially help in preparation of Jihad.”
A passage from a tenth grade Punjab textbook, also published in 2015, states, “Because the Muslim religion, culture and social system are different from non-Muslims, it is impossible to cooperate with Hindus.”
Another Punjab curriculum textbook for sixth grade Islamic studies reads, “Christians learned tolerance and kind heartedness from Muslims. The fair treatment and good governance of Muslims improved the living standard of the region. They started to live prosperous and peaceful lives under the patronage of Muslims.”
The report’s recommendations call for textbooks that “reflect that religious freedom is a constitutional protection provided to all Pakistanis” and ask that “historical omissions and misrepresentations of different events should be eliminated, and diverse viewpoints should be included.”
At a National Press Club event Tuesday USCIRF Commissioner Katrina Lantos Swett discussed the report’s findings as well as Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws used to target its religious minorities.
“Every year since 2002, USCIRF has continued to call on our State Department to designate Pakistan a country of particular concern or a CPC, marking it as one of the world’s worst violators of freedom of religion or belief. We believe such action is long overdue,” Swett emphasized.
Azhar Hussain, president and founder of PEF, reflected on the words of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan.”
“It’s very sad for us, for Pakistan, to see that very founding mission of Pakistan that anybody can come and live and pray and practice their religion to be not true,” Hussain said.
First it was Ajmal Kasab during Mumbai terror attack and now it’s Naved–Udhampur attack. They have forced the world to ask: what is wrong with some Pakistani youths? Instead of trying to excel in studies and make a name for themselves, they embrace the route of Jihad and radicalisation to get attention. Further, they don’t seem to show any kind of remorse–Naved happily announced that he had come to kills Hindus.
Why Pakistani youth has so much hatred against India, Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan.
Perhaps, the answer lies in textbooks taught in the schools in Pakistan. “Radicalisation of education existed in Pakistan even in 1950 and has been continuing thereafter. But that was negligible and there was nothing seriously wrong. But things started going wrong in the 70’s. The military government of General Zia-ul-Haq after the coup in 1977 started using education as a political tool and managed to influence civilians to harbor a grudge against Hindus and India,” says Surya Gangadharan, veteran defense expert.Dr. C. Christine Fai in her book ‘Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War’reveals how Pakistani army systematically indulged in Islamization of the society and garnered civilian support for the hatred and continued hegemony against India, adds Surya Gangadharan.
A study–The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan–was carried by Sustainable Development Policy Insititute in 2002. Editors A.H. Nayyar and Ahmad Salin with the help of a number of educationists and concerned citizens compiled the anomalies and gave their suggestions to bring about required change in curriculum to help students excel in the competitive world. But nothing concrete has been done till date.
“Civil society is practically non-existent and has failed to bring about positive change in the curriculum. Some changes were brought about some time back, but after the general election, radical forces forced authorities to stick to the old curriculum. Textbooks openly spew venom against India and Hindus,” says Sushant Sareen, Senior Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation.
“Army has deployed men in the various education boards, who make the final decision when it comes to drafting curriculum. As a result education has been extremely radicalised and we are yet to witness any effective movement against this,” adds Sushant Sareen.
Generation after generation was being lost to bad education, yet providing quality education was never on the political agenda of the country (Source: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan).
A lot has been written in the textbooks against Hindus and minorities in Pakistan. The report can be accessed here. We are not carrying full details as it might lead to ugly accusation and defy the real purpose— a demand for quality education in Pakistan.
The report titling “Pakistan: Public School Textbooks Continue to Teach Intolerance” by USCIRF, published just on April 11, 2016 is telling a horrifying hovering of hatred in Pakistani text books as an end of goodwill in the civil society.
The general schools in Islamic countries and Islamic seminaries (Madrasa) both teaching hatred and Jihad in a secondary way or directly, are actually used as hatchery to produce more and more intolerant Muslims to destroy the peace and harmony in this world. In other words Jihad mentality starts from school books in Pakistan.
Educational institutions controlled by Muslims or situated in Non-Muslim countries are also inclined to Islamic supremacy through Jihad, hatred and intolerance.
Most of us are not bothered about the mingling of Quranic view of intolerance and hatred in the school curriculum of Muslims.