A recent blockbuster expose on the Pakistani public school system has some eye-opening news for the non-Muslim world. In the wake of the Easter bombings in Lahore, Pakistan the people of the world complained that the Pakistani government wasn’t doing enough to push back against the Muslim extremists in their country. In response, the government has promised to crack down on militant terrorism that has entrenched itself in certain corners of their country.
Here’s the problem with these promises… the “extremism” isn’t just found with the radical terrorists. In Pakistan, radical Muslim “extremism” isn’t actually that extreme. In fact, it’s really the mainstream view of most of the nation’s population.
Nafees Takkar from the Christian Science Monitor (and Business Insider) explains how Muslim extremism has become the norm in Pakistan. (Surprise! It’s because of public schools!)
In recent years in government-approved schools, students are using textbooks that teach hostility towards all forms of thought and expression – except orthodox Sunni Islam…
The books claim that Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh faiths, and even minority Muslim ethnic groups are inferior if not dangerous and should be opposed. They often present stereotyped images from history – the crusades in the Middle Ages, unjust colonial British civil servants, Jewish moneylenders, or of marauding Sikhs warriors – as if these are current affairs and represent popular views in the West and India today.
The texts also adopt fundamentalist arguments that Muslim individuals are responsible for taking independent action against those who are not virtuous…
Relations with Jews are presented in a seventh grade text in this way: “Some Jewish tribes also lived in Arabia. They lent money to workers and peasants on high rates of interest and usurped their earnings.”
Sixth graders are taught that, “Christians and Europeans were not happy to see Muslims flourishing.”…
By 10th grade students learn not just that jihad is a form of internal struggle for the faithful, but that, “In Islam Jihad is very important. The person who offers his life never dies. All prayers nurture one’s passion for Jihad.”
We can, and should, get mad at the terrorists for wreaking havoc upon our planet, but we should also be angry with the average, non-terrorist Muslim who allows this hateful rhetoric to be spread among their number.
We don’t begrudge the Muslim believer his/her right to teach their own faith to their children and family, but we should demand that they not propagate ideas that encourage violence against the unbeliever. The Pakistani public school system actively teaches Pakistan’s children that violence against non-Sunni Muslims is understandable, and even moral, so of course the majority of students will graduate to become violent xenophobic adults.
Our nation pours billions of dollars into Pakistan (and other Muslim nations) every year. That flow of money should stop, immediately, and there should be no consideration to re-opening the financial floodgates until Pakistan takes steps to end the tide of violent rhetoric flooding down upon their children.
Not a penny more.