Iraq Works on Interfaith Discourse

07/02/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – The Institute for the Study of Religious Diversity is attempting to change Iraq’s discourse toward religious minorities and recently published its first curricula. Established almost a year ago by Masarat, a Baghdad-based nonprofit, the institution will focus its educational programs toward Muslim students and clerics.

The curricula focuses on non-Muslim minority faiths, such as Mandaeanism, Yezidism, Judaism, and Christianity. The institute’s goal is to educate Muslim clergymen on Iraq’s different minority religions, influencing the wider national discourse and combatting hate speech and religious prejudice within the country. All textbooks in the curricula were designed by experts and religious leaders from these minorities.

The 2014 genocide of Christians and Yazidis committed by ISIS has left deep scars on Iraq’s society. Repairing broken community trust is essential for the country to move forward in a way which protects the human rights of all. While this is an important step in the right direction, one must recall the broader curriculum problems within Iraqi society that fail to contribute towards religious tolerance.

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