To Raqib: continuation of reply, French school teaching etc.
Submitted by Plato (United Arab Emirates), Dec 23, 2006 at 05:59
This is continuation to the post on Banu Quraiza
Pg. 97:You said: "Let me tell you something, in France school students were taught that the author of Holy Qur'an is Muhammad. However in my country where muslim percenteage is highest, never taught our children that the author of Bible is the Scholars of Constantine." I have no clue about what is taught in French schools. I accept that in your country children are not taught that the author of the Bible is the scholars of Constantine. But on the assumption that you are from Pakistan (even if you are not, read on, it is very interesting) let me show you from a Pakistani source what Pakistani children are taught. They are taken from the study "The Subtle Subversion, The state curricula and Textbook in Pakistan" by A.H.Nayyar and Ahmad Salim, published by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute. Search the web for the entire 154 page study. Here are some excerpts: (Underlining, emphasis mine)
Paving the Way: Germinating hate
The objects of hate in Pakistani educational material are Hindus and India
Curriculum documents state the following as the specific learning objectives:
[The child should be able to] understand the Hindu and Muslim differences andthe resultant need for Pakistan189
Hindu-Muslim Differences in Culture, .. India's evil designs against Pakistan (thethree wars with India)190
Identify the events in relation to Hindu-Muslim differences, which laid thefoundations for Pakistan191
The textbooks then respond in the following way to the above curriculum instructions
Hindu has always been an enemy of Islam.192The religion of the Hindus did not teach them good things -- Hindus did notrespect women...193Hindus worship in temples which are very narrow and dark places, where theyworship 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.194
Muslim children of India wear shalwar kameez or shirt and pajama and Hinduchildren wear Dhoti also.195
The Hindu Lived in Small and dark houses.196
Several authors have identified how the writing of history in Pakistan has beensystematically distorted to foster an artificial identity and ideology. The entire focus of this effort is directed towards proving the historical differences, enmities and differences betweenMuslims and Hindus and the righteousness of the Muslims as opposed to the cunning,deceit and cruelty of Hindus. A further objective is to establish in the child's mind that there has never been any period of amity or intermingling between the peoples of these religions since that is to be made the basis for justifying the demand for Pakistan.
To establish this identity history was rewritten to omit entire epochs of our past. For instance the textbooks written till 1961 contained detailed accounts of the ancient Hindu mythology and the Hindu and Buddhist dynasties that ruled the area which is now Pakistan. However, later textbooks entirely omit these ancient periods (e.g. Mauriya dynasty, Ashoka, etc.) while some make a brief reference to the Buddhist period (See e.g. Social Studies, Class-VI). This omission of a very important period of the history of this land besides being intellectually dishonest has had the effect, probably deliberate, of inculcating in children a sense of alienation from their Hindu neighbors in India as if we have never been part of a common history or sharedhistorical experience.
After some brief descriptions of ancient societies (Moen Jo Daro and Harrappa , pre-Hindu) history makes an abrupt jump to the advent of Muslims (Mohammed Bin Qasim). In an attempt to present Muslims as always acting for noble purposes and not motivated by desires of conquest and domination, the Arab's conflict with the rulers of Sindh is presented as a response to the attack on a pilgrim ship.
This selective portrayal hides the many previous attacks by the Arabs on the Makran-Baluchistan area which were repulsed by the local rulers. There is no attempt to link these conflicts with the actual political and economic motivations e.g. the control of trade routes, expansion of empires etc. that were prevalent in that period.
By omitting a critical and honest discussion of these factors and by glorifying and romanticizing these conquests the student is deprived of learning about the forces and dynamics that shape history, in particular those that have shaped the destiny of our own land. Somewhat similar comments can be made with regard to the advent of later Muslim rulers such as Mahmud Ghaznavi, Mohammad Ghauri and later on the Mughals and finally Ahmad Shah Abdali. Rather than discuss objectively the motivations behind the invasions and the reasons why the invading powers were in general able to subdue local resistance, all these events are covered under the panoply of Islam versus Hinduism. The triumph of every adventurer becomes the triumph and glory of Islam.
In his brilliant study Murder of History in Pakistani Textbooks, K.K. Aziz has provided the reader with the major inaccuracies, distortions, exaggerations and slants to be found in each officially prepared and prescribed textbook and in a representative selection of private commercial publications which are in wide use as textbooks. In his thorough and fascinating dissection of 66 Pakistan Studies and History textbooks, he has compiled an extensive list of the errors they contain. The eight categories of these errors open our eyes to the various ways, in which history has been manipulated, polluted, ill-used and trampled over.
He has not only identified these errors, but has also tried to correct them. For instance, he quoted the following statement from a textbook:
"After the partition of the subcontinent the Hindus and Sikhs started a properly
planned campaign of exploiting the Muslims generally in the whole of Bharat and
particularly in East Punjab as a result of which the Hindu and Sikh enemies of
mankind killed and dishonoured thousands, nay hundreds of thousands of
women, children, the old and the young with extreme cruelty and heartlessness."
Aziz's reply is
1947; Muslims also killed and raped and looted wherever they had the
opportunity.": "the Hindus and Sikhs were not the only aggressors in the riots of160
Rubina Saigol's analysis of Pakistani educational policies and curriculum reveals the way in which the nation states' ideologies are realised in actual textual practice
The governments may have changed over time, but the state rhetoric has remained fundamentally the same, although it has made adjustments according to the needs of a particular time. The best example is Zia's Islamization. However, the argument here is that Islamization served essentially the same purpose for Zia, which the ideology of national development served for Ayub or the rhetoric of socialism for Bhutto.
The purpose was state legitimisation for capital expansion and consolidation. Mubarak Ali, A. H. Nayyar, Khurshid Hasanain, Pervez Hoodbhoy and Tariq Rahman have also looked into the distortion in History and Social Studies textbooks. For Tariq Rahman, history is mutilated in Pakistan's textbooks to construct a mind-set that serves the broader polities of state. Young and impressionable minds are impregnated with seeds of hatred to serve the self-styled ideological strait-jacket: 161. In her words, this led to an exploration of the translation of official policies into action at the level of text production. The subtle but significant differences between the Ayub, Bhutto and Zia era education policies do appear in the curriculum, although there is an immense overlap which lends credence to the argument that Pakistan has remained essentially a military state even during ostensibly civilian rule.
"The state's major objectives - creating nationalism and support for the military -
are attained by repeating a few basic messages in all the books. First, the non-
159 Ayesha Jalal, "Conjuring Pakistan: History as official Imagination", International journal of Middle East
Studies, 27, 1995,pp. 73-89
160 K.K. Aziz, Murder of History in Pakistan, Lahore, 1993
161 Rubina Saigol, Knowledge and Identity: Articulation of Gender in Educational Discourse in Pakistan, ASR,
Urging the Students to Take the Path ofJehad and Shahadat
The themes of
Learning Outcome: Recognize the importance ofJehad and Shahadat clearly distinguish the pre- and post-1979 educational contents. There was no mention of these in the pre-Islamization period curricula and textbooks, and the post-1979 curricula and textbooks openly eulogize Jehad and Shahadat and urge students to become mujahids and martyrs. The following examples illustrate the point.Jehad in every sphere of life116
Learning outcome: Must be aware of the blessings ofJehad117
Must be aware of the blessings of
heart.Jehad, and must create yearning for Jehad in his118
Concept:Jehad; Affective objective: Aspiration for Jehad119
Love and aspiration forJehad, Tableegh (Prosyletization), Jehad, Shahadat
Insensitivity to the Religious Diversity of the Nation
(martyrdom), sacrifice,ghazi (the victor in holy wars), shaheed (martyr), …120
Simple stories to urge forJehad121
Activity 4: To make speeches onJehad and Shahadat122
To make speeches onJehad123
Evaluation: To judge their spirits while making speeches on
Muslim History and CultureJehad,124
Concepts:Jehad, Amar bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar125
Affective objective:Concepts of Ideology of Pakistan, MuslimUmmah and
Stories: eight lessons; Folk tales (mythical, moral, Islamic, travel and
How do you think this compares with what you say are taught to French children. What is so humungously dangerous about French students being taught that Muhammad was the author of the Koran. It may sound like a mind-bogglingy horrendous crime to you, if your tone is anything to go by, but to the rest of humanity it is inconseqential.
But what kind of mind set do you think Pakistani children will have when they finish their education. Would you let your children be educated in a school where the curricula spews hatred of another religious group? And if you are in Pakistan will you give me an honest answer to this question: If you have children have you examined what they are taught in their classes?
About Karen Armstrong. Since you seem to place great faith in Karen Armstrong as I said in my last post read what she had to say about what happened to the Banu Quraiza.
PlatoJehad)128 Again, the repetition illustrates how insistent the curricula are on the inclusion ofmaterial on jehad and shahadat in textbooks and in classroom teaching. , reflecting boththe perceived sense of insecurity from an ‘enemy' country, and an attempt to define one'snational identity in relation to the ‘other'. The first serves the military and the second thepolitical Islamists.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (1084) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes