» 04/05/2012, 00.00
Pakistani schoolbooks full of contempt and bigotry against Christians, Hindus and Sikhs
Pakistani curricula and textbooks promote extremism and violate minorities’ rights. An NCJP study notes distortions and requests a revision of the educational system, the first source of marginalization. Although minorities are guaranteed the possibility to deepen their own religion.
- 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
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.
has long stressed the importance of education as a factor of redemption and
growth for Pakistan, and even devoted a thorough dossier to schooling and education
can stop the Taliban in Pakistan). Peter
Jacob, NCJP executive secretary, explains that "education and educational
policy in Pakistan" are among the sectors in which sectarian nature of
discrimination and violations of basic human rights clearly emerge. In
addition there is a chronic "lack of initiatives" and complications
caused by "widespread corruption and inefficiency."
the study prepared by Christian activists they recall article 20 of the
Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom, and article 22 that states
that " no person attending any educational
institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in
any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction,
ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own". However,
the school and education system in general seem to "forget" these two
fundamental laws of the Charter of the State, while diligently applying Article
31, under which "shall be binding upon the study of Islam and the
that - add Christian activists - there are no substantial differences between
public institutions and the madrassas, or Islamic schools.
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
Christian students in Pakistan are victims of violence and discrimination
Minorities Concern of Pakistan denounces a climate of intolerance and exclusion in the classroom. Most of the violations are committed in government institutions, due to a "fragile" system that associates Pakistan to a "Muslims-only country”. An association of teachers demands action from the Chief Justice against the Federal Ministry of Education.
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