SHAFAQNA – Pakistani schools are reportedly teaching religious “fanaticism” and “extremism,” with children textbooks inciting violence and hatred toward non-Muslims, a study by the National Commission for Justice and Peace has revealed.
“It is a red flag for the government, which must ask the Church to promote the role of minorities in creating and defending the country,” the body’s Executive Director, Cecil Shane Chaudhry, told AsiaNews, adding that the issue is not only about the minorities, but is a national concern regarding the country’s education system.
Muslim lawmaker Asma Bukhari agreed, stating that Pakistani textbooks are big on personal opinions.
She told AsiaNews that a book used at a Taliban extremism center suggested that Christians took power from the Muslims and “closed all doors of development.”
“So Muslims had no choice but to fight the English…Christian pastors were forcefully converting locals to Christianity,” she quoted from the book.
Alarms were raised after Christian students were forcibly made to recite the Quran, prompting the Pakistani Teachers’ Association to write a letter to the Chief Justice.
Former USCIRF Chairman, Robert P. George showed deep concern regarding the practice, stating that Pakistan’s public school textbooks contained “deeply troubling content that portrays non-Muslim citizens as outsiders, unpatriotic, and inferior.”
They are “filled with errors; and present widely-disputed historical ‘facts’ as settled history,” he claimed, adding that there is no information in the textbooks about the positive contributions of the minority communities for Pakistan’s development.
Christianity tops the list of minority groups facing persecution in Pakistan. In Pak-occupied Punjab, a 16-year-old Christian girl was reportedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted last month.