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to Aamir Ali: Islam's image is Islam's creation and the solution lies in Islam.

Reader comment on item: America's Crash Course on Islam
in response to reader comment: Check and Balance

Submitted by Plato (India), Sep 14, 2007 at 04:02

>>After going through your article I can realize that some ill minded people claiming to be muslims has damaged the true image of Islam. <<

What exactly is the true image of Islam apart from the gun and bomb culture that is prevalent in Muslim countries, including your very Islamic country.

>>The fact cannot be ignored that some representatives of western community also contributed in igniting these elements.<<

This is your attempt to shift some of the blame for Islamic violence onto the West. Not entirely untrue, but you must confront your own image in the mirror before blaming anyone else for distorting it.

>>Understanding that the literacy rate in some of the Islamic countries is below par..this is very true that some terrorist find easy recruits for their wrong doings...<<

Again you are trying to shift the blame for Islamic violence to illiteracy in Muslim countries. There are equally illiterate but non-Islamic countries and they don't brutalise themselves by killing and beheadings.

>>Furthermore, due to lack of access to media this is very easy to divert or misguide poor and illetrate.<<

Saudi Arabia is a fairly literate country and with access to all kind of media. But it is a breeding ground of terrorism. Why? Pakistan is at least 50% literate and people have access to the media. It is another breeding ground for terrorism. Why? What is the common denominator of these two countries?

>>.In countries like Pakistan where there are very remote and unaccessible areas..the government is facing utmost difficulty in communicating its message of peace and development...Infact the negative elements residing in these areas use these pockets for their bad projects..<<

The terrorists come from the more literate classes in Pakistan. They only hide out among the illiterate masses.

>>Understanding true Islam in west is important..but propagating true islam islam in Islamic countries is also a tough task.<<

You said it Aamir, propagating true Islam in Islamic countries is a TOUGH task. By implication propagating what you call true Islam, which I take to be a more tolerant version than what is contained in the Koran, is easier in non-Islamic countries. You want to propagate an image of Islam in the West that is peaceful. But you know that in Islamic countries that is a tough proposition because the scholars of Islam will nix propagation of peaceful Islam pretty quickly. Look around you Mr. Aamir. The proof is everywhere in Pakistan.

>>..Being muslim we are also at war with such elements.

Where is evidence for Muslims fighting their terrorists. Your scholars always scream loudest against imaginary insults to Islam and call for jihad. What was the Lal Masjid incident about?

>>These uncontrolled elements go against government wishes and programs..are sometimes dangerous for its forces as well..<<

Uncontrolled elements? Who let them loose in the first place? Take a peek into the curriculums in schools in your country to see who let these hounds from hell in the first place.


Sunday, October 02 2005 @ 04:58 PM EDT

Amir Mir - History or biology, Pakistani students get anti-India lessons in all their textbooks
When Mohammad Qasim stepped out to participate in the declamation contest held to celebrate Pakistan's Independence Day, the topic he was to speak on was: 'Why Islam and Pakistan are integral to each other'. Instead, this Class XI student of Lahore's Government Central Model School lashed out against the Hindus, giving vent to inexplicable anger and hatred. This was particularly shocking because the Hindu community, constituting an infinitesimal percentage of Pakistan's population, hasn't been an aspect of Qasim's life. Asked to explain his outpouring in the contest, the 14-year-old boy said, "We hate Hindus because they are Hindustanis and the number one enemies of both Islam and Pakistan. We know it all through our history and Pakistan Studies books. We learn what happened years ago all the time at school." Qasim's explanation illustrates vividly the inimical impact of school textbooks, where history is manipulated to foster national chauvinism, where knowledge becomes a vital tool in the construction of national identity, where the sense of nation is promoted through veritable lessons in bigotry, hatred and gross misrepresentation of history

Saturday, December 03 2005 @ 11:01 PM EST

Brian Murphy - Fear that Muslim children fed diet of intolerance Some school texts tie concept of jihad to violent actions
Page after page, the self-appointed hate hunters underline passages in Pakistani school books. They flag hard-edged Muslim views toward other faiths, such as those describing past efforts by Hindus and Christians to "erase" Muslims. They note sections that speak of martyrdom, and the duty to battle perceived religious enemies. "We are fighting for the future of Islam. Children are sometimes being force-fed a diet of hate, anger and intolerance," said Ahmad Salim, leader of a campaign to push Pakistan's education establishment to remove what activists consider extreme language and images from the curriculum. Salim's group, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, issued a report two years ago calling for broad revisions. Next month, it plans to release an updated review of all Pakistan's textbooks that reprimands authorities for failing to make serious changes.

It will be the latest example of widening appeals for textbook reform across the Islamic world. Barely a whisper just a few years ago, the demands have begun to draw attention at the highest levels. Educators and activists argue that current battles against Islamic extremism are only superficial without deep revisions of school books — similar to efforts to purge Balkan lessons of ethnic slurs following the wars of the 1990s. In Jordan, textbook revisers are making clear distinctions between terrorism and what that country sees as legitimate struggles, such as the Palestinian intifada, or uprising. Much of the concern among reformers is how students learn about jihad — a concept that encompasses all acts on behalf of Islam. It's clear the phrases in some textbooks pay homage — directly or indirectly — to violent actions. "Recognize the importance of jihad in every sphere of life," say the curriculum guidelines for Pakistan's elementary schools. Critics claim the message is often interpreted in malignant ways: strong denunciations of Pakistan's historical Hindu rivals in India or sympathy for Islamic guerrillas in Kashmir and elsewhere.

The Palestinian's Grade 11 Islamic Culture book has dozens of appeals for Islamic solidarity to confront "enemies" such as Israel, its allies and Western culture. "The Islamic nation needs to spread the spirit of jihad and the love of self-sacrifice (martyrdom) among its sons," reads one passage. Grade 5 pupils read: "The martyrs kiss it (the Palestinian flag) with their blood." Nearly every section of the Palestinian textbooks touches on the intifada. "Peace with Israel is not mentioned at all," according to the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, an Israeli-American group that examines school books throughout the Middle East. "There is an incredible glorification of jihad (as holy war) throughout the entire Palestinian school curriculum," said Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, a Jerusalem-based group that monitors Palestinian broadcasts and publications. Islamic textbooks aren't the only offenders: Israeli textbooks have undergone extensive reforms in the past decade to remove the most overt anti-Arab bias, but Arabs are still widely portrayed as opposed to gestures for peace. Books used by Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews often give negative impressions of Arabs as shifty and violent.

In Saudi Arabia — the guardian of Islam's holiest sites — textbooks reflect the kingdom's two main pillars: commitment to spread Islam and to follow its austere interpretation of the faith, known as Wahhabism. This brand of Islam has provided theological footing for the faith's most extreme edges. The Saudi lessons spill far beyond the country's borders since the government funds schools around the world. The Saudi school books have been modified in the past two years to soften the descriptions of non-Muslims, other cultures and different branches of Islam, though critics say it still has a way to go. Pressure for change came from two directions. The West began serious demands for textbook reforms after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. But the overseers of Saudi education — heavily influenced by Wahhabi clerics — became serious about changes only after the country's royal leaders stepped in. Muslim militants, apparently inspired by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, launched attacks on Saudi soil in May 2003 and rattled the kingdom's pro-Western leaders. In a speech last year, then-Saudi education minister Mohammed al-Rasheed told teachers and administrators to "stay away from extremism and fanaticism." The Saudi curriculum frames the world along rigid lines.

Religious studies note Islam's historical bonds with Christianity and Judaism, but declare that only Muslims practise the true faith and "other religions destroy their followers." Saudi Grade 7 students also read that Judaism is a "corrupted religion." Lessons portray the Muslim world as under constant threat. In Grade 9, geography studies describe centuries of "malice and hatred" toward Muslims, from the Crusades to contemporary conflicts in Kashmir, Chechnya and the intifada. Such phrases were taught in Saudi classes as recently as the 2003-04 school year, according to international monitors. It's unclear whether they will be removed in the ongoing revisions. (Associated Press/Toronto Star http://www.pakistan-facts.com/article.php?story=20051203230157324

>>We must join hands in promoting culture of tolerance and friendship...<<
Attacking Islam is very easy and seems first choice..but not the solution of the problem<<

Muslims need to stop lecturing others about promoting a culture of tolerance while their governments instill hatred of everyone but Muslims in their children.

Attacking Islam is very easy and seems first choice..but not the solution of the problem<<

The solution my dear Aamir and the first choice lies with Islam. Islam must not preach hatred of other religions. It must find a way to override the verses of the Koran that incite hate, curse unbelievers, call for killing and encouragement of jihad.


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