Source:AHRC via Nasim Malik.
In his message for the world peace day, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said:
“On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.”
There is an onerous responsibility on member states that the quality of materials used for education they offer complies with expectations and aspirations of the world community. However, some countries, Particularly Pakistan, are acting contrary to this and are using education to promote extremism and fundamentalism by instilling hatred in the minds of young children in their formative years when their outlook on the society they live is based on the environment they live in and ideology they are exposed to. This creates disorder, hate and disharmony in society rather than promoting peace, love, mutual respect and co-operation for the benefit of society as a whole. Such countries are instilling hatred, intolerance and sowing the seed of extremism and violence in the mind of youngsters.
Recently in Pakistan, text books which are part of the national syllabus are being used in the Sindh province to promote hate and extremism against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. For instance in this text book titled, ‘Islamiat for Class VI’ published by Spectrum on page 10 the text teaches children to not be tolerant of the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The worst part is that as part of the instructions given to teachers, the teachers are encouraged ‘to ensure students are aware of the evils of the Qadianis’.
Education should not be used as a political or ideological tool and should be free from any form of prejudice, bias and extremist philosophy. However, Pakistan appears to be steeped in appeasing fanatical and extremist Muslim fundamentalists by allowing them to use the education system to promote hate. Please click here to find the syllabus of primary school based on hate.
We draw the attention of the international community to this matter. It becomes the responsibility of the international community that whilst we are observing world peace day to promote and build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity, Pakistan is acting contrary to this by not only destroying peace in Pakistan but undermining the efforts of the rest of the world. Wherever education is used for such despicable purposes and objectives it must be checked. As the Secretary-General has said let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.
This situation of the hate based educational system must be checked by the civilian government and parliamentarians otherwise in the presence of such systems democracy, enlightenment and openness in the society will be stifled. The incumbent government and parliamentarians must revisit the curriculum particularly at primary and secondary levels.