JI teachers accuse govt of ‘poisoning’ curriculum
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: The federal government is “poisoning” the schools curriculum by adding lesson of liberalism and eliminating lessons of jihad as it panders to American, British, Israeli and Indian interests.
These views are expressed by an 11-page booklet distributed by the Punjabchapter of the Tanzeem-e-Usatiza, the teacher’s wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the main components of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.
According to the booklet, the updated curriculum for classes 1 to 10 serves the “Christian and Jewish lobby”. It says the new curriculum excludes Islamic values and teaches the young submissiveness and passivity.
The cover of the pamphlet, titled ‘Education Curriculum 2004 White Paper’, shows an arm, covered with an American flag, wielding a sword about to strike a book, symbolising the Holy Quran, which has the words Tauheed, Risalat, Jihad and Islamic heroes printed on it.
The booklet blames the previous federal education minister, Zubaida Jalal, for many of the “anti-Islamic” changes to the curriculum. It quotes Collin Powell, Jack Straw, President General Pervez Musharraf, Zubaida Jalal and others, without references, to substantiate its claims that the changes to the curriculum came at the behest of America. Gen Musharraf is cited as saying in an interview to India Today that Pakistan and India should have a combined curriculum.
The booklet, published by Sanai Press in Sargodha, accuses the federal government of allowing Oxford Printing Press, Gaba Educational Books, National Book Foundation, The Gun Reading Programme and others to publish books that contain “immoral material”.
There are objections to stories in an O level English book published by Oxford which contain descriptions of romantic relationships between unmarried men and women. It also objects to a book published by the National Book Foundation which it says has pictures of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions.
The ‘white paper’ also objects to the Punjab Textbook Board book which has a chapter on sex education titled ‘Reproduction of Man’, which contains a picture of women’s reproductive organs.
The Pak-Studies book for class 10 is criticised for publishing a map which shows Kashmir as disputed territory. Another book for class to students is criticised for a “character assassination” of Hazrat Ayesha, one of the Prophet’s (pbuh) wives.
The booklet gives more than 30 references from schoolbooks published by the Punjab, Sindh, Balochsitan and NWFP textbook boards and other publishers that it says contain “anti-Islamic” changes. According to the booklet, Tanzeem-e-Usatiza, established in 1969, has a few thousand members and hundreds of thousands “sympathisers” (Rafique).