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01/28/2022 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – A Malaysian father’s recent tweet went viral after he questioned the hours of Islamic studies in his daughter’s weekly schedule.

The father was shocked when he found out that his daughter’s primary school had allocated more hours for Islamic studies and other related classes than for mathematics and science classes combined.

According to his tweet, there are 5.5 hours of Pendidikan Agama Islam (PAI) and other related classes in a week, whereas English has the same amount, and math and science combined — at 2.5 hours and 1.5 hours, respectively — are still less.

He noted that his daughter’s school is not a religious school but a public school. While he is not opposed to religious studies, he does not want them to be taught at the expense of mathematics and science.

Many non-Muslim netizens agree with his view that school should not be a place to teach religion and instead should teach the subject outside official school hours.

In response, Minister of Religious Affairs Idris Ahmad said at a recent event that he found the complaint “strange” as the matter had never appeared. “However, it is normal in our large community (for some people to complain). Perhaps, it is because they don’t understand or do not want to understand,” he said.

Although Malaysia is a secular country and hosts several ethnicities, its official religion is Islam, and ethnic Malay are presumed to be Muslims. Analysts are noticing the creeping Islamization of the Southeast Asian country in recent years and how that could threaten religious liberty in Malaysia.

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