Textbooks which portray other religions as evil have been an increasing source of virulent hatred in Islamic countries. The following story brings to light this problem in Pakistan’s public school system.
( Pittsburg Post-Gazette) – Each year, thousands of Pakistani children learn from history books that Jews are tightfisted moneylenders and Christians vengeful conquerors. One textbook tells kids they should be willing to die as martyrs for Islam. These aren’t students being indoctrinated by extremist mullahs in madrassas, the private Islamic seminaries often blamed for stoking militancy in Pakistan . These are pupils in public schools learning from textbooks approved by the administration of President Pervez Musharraf. Since joining the United States as an ally in its “war on terror” four years ago, Musharraf has urged Pakistanis to shun radical Islam and pursue “enlightened moderation.” Musharraf and U.S. officials say education reforms are crucial to defeating extremism in Pakistan , the only Islamic nation armed with nuclear weapons. Yet reformers who study the country’s education system say public-school lessons still promote hatred against non-Muslims and urge jihad, or holy war.