While Pope Francis has urged Christians to fight Islamic Terrorism with the “Weapon of Love”, “Children in Pakistan are learning disturbing things about other religions in school,” by Nafees Takkar, Christian Science Monitor, March 31, 2016:
… In recent years in government-approved schools, students are using textbooks that teach hostility towards all forms of thought and expression – except orthodox Sunni Islam….
The books claim that Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh faiths, and even minority Muslim ethnic groups are inferior if not dangerous and should be opposed. They often present stereotyped images from history – the crusades in the Middle Ages, unjust colonial British civil servants, Jewish moneylenders, or of marauding Sikhs warriors – as if these are current affairs and represent popular views in the West and India today.
The texts also adopt fundamentalist arguments that Muslim individuals are responsible for taking independent action against those who are not virtuous.
Nearly 70 percent of Pakistani students attend public schools, according to the Center of Research and Security Studies. The Islamabad-based think tank points out that government committees decide on the content in curriculums.
“The textbooks take the readers to an absolute point of view that stops students from thinking critically and takes them into isolated thinking,” says Khadim Hussain, a Peshawar-based writer on militancy and the director of an educational foundation.
In a seventh-grade social studies text, students read: “History has no parallel to the extremely kind treatment of the Christians by the Muslims. Still the Christian kingdoms of Europe were constantly trying to gain control of Jerusalem.”
Relations with Jews are presented in a seventh grade text in this way: “Some Jewish tribes also lived in Arabia. They lent money to workers and peasants on high rates of interest and usurped their earnings.”
Sixth graders are taught that, “Christians and Europeans were not happy to see Muslims flourishing.”
Seventh graders read, learn, and are tested on material from texts that teach the Crusades almost as current affairs and offer a very narrow view of Christianity without describing the nearly universal approbation against them taken later.
“These wars are called crusades because the Pope, a head of the Christians, called a council of war,” the text states. “In this meeting he declared that Jesus Christ sanctioned war against Muslims.”
By 10th grade students learn not just that jihad is a form of internal struggle for the faithful, but that, “In Islam Jihad is very important. The person who offers his life never dies. All prayers nurture one’s passion for Jihad.”…
“These texts present a world view that has nothing to do with real studies and the real world. The texts showing up in public schools repeatedly describe Christians and Jews as enemies of Islam,” Mr. Hussain says.
The leaders of the Jamat-ul-Ahrar, the organization that claimed responsibility for the attack on Christians in Lahore, graduated from public schools.
The spokesman of a jihadi group that claimed a recent attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, a town near Peshawar, got his first education from a regular school. The attack on Jan. 20, which killed 21 students and teachers, had symbolic importance since the college is named after a Pashtun leader known for his philosophy of non-violence against British rule….