Pejman linked to this story in the LA Times [registration required; BugMeNot]. The article describes the teaching of hatred and Jihad in Pakistani public schools. You can think of them as madrassa-lite. The Quran and the various Islamic rulings are beaten into you at the madrassas whereas the public schools are slightly more geared towards languages, science, and arithmetic.
My curriculum in Saudi Arabia was heavily modeled after the books used in the Punjab province of Pakistan. This was because I went to a Pakistani school in Saudi Arabia. The full name of the school: Saudi Arabian International School - Pakistani Section. One goes to college after finishing their grade 10 education in Pakistan and such was the case at my school. So, for Pakistanis it's K-10 and then off to supposedly higher education. I "studied" through in those 10 years. Here, I'm going to comment on the kind of material taught in non-Islamic courses. Bonus: At the end, I'll talk about another lovely Pakistani policy.
Our Urdu textbooks always began with a combination of an Islamic poem and some odd story of Muhammad. Note, that's for a course in a language. Furthermore, I distinctly remember reading about the various Pakistani shaheed (read: martyrs) during the wars between India. There were eight men who had won the highest reward and thus we read about their, likely, sugar-coated endeavors.
We learned of the subcontinent's history through the Social Studies course. The arc of history was simple. The merciful Muslim Mughals ruled the richest country in the world. The English came over and took advantage of weak Muslims and Hindus to usurp power for themselves. Then followed over 100 years of Muslim misery. The Muslims during this era are portrayed as victims of both the Hindus and, the true overlords, the Brits.
The history of the 20th century is particularly warped. The wretchedness of the minority Muslims is well pronounced. The partition in 1947 is not pleasant. Kashmir is, of course, the big thorn. Though, once our Urdu teacher illuminated a certain type of thinking. "The English came to the subcontinent and took control from the Mughals. When the English left in 1947, they should have given control back to the Muslims. That would have been justice."
No, that would have been genocide.
Pakistanis never learn about "the other" who suffered the most during the 1930s and the 40s. History is shown as perpetually biased towards the Muslims. The Jewish - Christian - Infidel Axis is always keeping "the Muslim" down. This is openly taught in our Urdu and Social Studies courses.
The Arabic and Islamiyat classes pass along the same message with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Good Muslims don't make friends with Jews and Christians since they're not trustworthy. Plus, the Jews and Christians have a long-standing -- and totally secret -- pact to be eternally against the Muslims. Tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of Muslim kids are being nourished on this hatred around the globe.
This "way of thinking" works in insidious ways. For example, when Westerners recoil at such an education and demand a non-hate-filled curriculum, the many Muslims think, "Hmm, it's the wily infidels again. They're trying to change my pure and Islamic teaching with their dirty ways. Ergo, don't change the curriculum!" Just read this from the LA Times article:
A study of the public school curriculum and textbooks by 29 Pakistani
academics in 2002 concluded that public school "textbooks tell lies,
create hatred, inculcate militancy and much more."
The study by the independent Sustainable Development Policy
Institute angered religious conservatives, and even a few liberals, who
saw it as an attack on the country's Islamic values, or even a plot by
Western governments and rival India to subvert the Islamic state.
It's simple, the Westerners, and by extension their stooges (Musharraf), are not to be trusted. But when someone like George Galloway slobbers all over the Islamists, the same Muslims think, "AHA, I knew it, the infidels are raping Afghanistan and Iraq for a gas pipeline and oil."
It's Monty Pythonish, think Life of Brian. Only this time, it's not a comedy.
Musharraf is not going to tackle this hatred. The hatred of Jews and the suffering of Muslims is at the center of popular thought in the country. Those who don't hate the Jews are the extremists. Those who don't think that becoming a martyr is THE BEST THING EVER are out of the mainstream in Pakistan.
The Pakistanis will simply write new editions of books with a few modified practice questions but the venom will still be there. Musharraf can be pressured to make a few thumping speeches but with no follow through. He cares about his neck more than the West's rhetorical ire. I don't think there is a peaceful solution. The West must use force to stop the conveyor belt of hatred and terrorism. Sooner or later, we'll have to de-Islamify the Pakistani political sphere.
Another Policy Exploding with Love
Ahmadis are Muslims who simply believe that Muhammad was not THE last Prophet of Allah. That is reason enough for every Pakistani government agency to openly discriminate against them. For instance, if a Pakistani needs a new passport in Canada, then he must be in agreement with the following section [pdf]:
I am a Muslim and believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) the last of the prophets. I
do not recognize any person who claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description what so ever after Muhammad
(peace be upon him) or recognize such a claimant as prophet or religious reformer as a Muslim. I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani to
be an imposter nabi [Prophet] and also consider his followers, whether belonging to the Lahori or Qadiani group to be non Muslims.
Yup, you read that right. The Lahoris or the Qadianis or the Ahmadis are to be treated as non-Muslims in Pakistan. They have to reject their beliefs in order to escape Dhimmi treatment.
I bet that Musharraf is not going to change this Islamic practice either.
Speaking of medieval Islamic practices, Nasreen Bukhari is so very brave to stand up for herself. The MSM should showcase such personalities in the Muslim world.