Demonising your own: ‘Textbooks preach intolerance for minorities’

Published: November 10, 2011

In 2006, the government announced plans to reform the curriculum but that has not been done. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: While condemnations pour in over the killing of three Hindus in Sindh as Muslims celebrated Eidul Azha, a US government commission has said that Pakistani text books foster intolerance of Hindus, according to an Associated Press report.

“Teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow,” said Leonard Leo, chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom which released its report on Wednesday.

The study reviewed more than 100 textbooks from grades 1-10 across all four provinces. Researchers, in February this year, visited 37 public schools where they interviewed 277 students and teachers, and 19 madrassahs where they interviewed 226 students and teachers. In 2006, the government announced plans to reform the curriculum to address the problematic content, but that has not been done, the study said.

Negative portrayal

The report found systematic negative portrayals of minorities, especially Hindus and, to a lesser extent, Christians.

“Religious minorities are often portrayed as inferior or second-class citizens who have been granted limited rights and privileges by generous Pakistani Muslims, for which they should be grateful,” the report said. “Hindus are repeatedly described as extremists and eternal enemies of Islam whose culture and society is based on injustice and cruelty, while Islam delivers a message of peace and brotherhood, concepts portrayed as alien to the Hindu.”

The books don’t contain many specific references to Christians, but those “that do exist seem generally negative,” the report said.

Attempts to reach the  education minister for his comments were not successful.

‘Islam under threat’

The researchers also found that the books foster a sense that Pakistan’s Islamic identity is under constant threat.

“The anti-Islamic forces are always trying to finish the Islamic domination of the world,” read one passage from a social studies text being taught to Grade 4 students in Punjab. “This can cause danger for the very existence of Islam. Today, the defence of Pakistan and Islam is very much in need.”

The report states that Islamic teachings and references were commonplace in compulsory text books, not just religious ones, meaning Pakistan’s Christians, Hindus and other minorities were being taught Islamic content. It said this appeared to violate Pakistan’s constitution, which states that students should not have to receive instruction in a religion other than their own.

Teachers’ attitudes

Teachers’ views were frequently nuanced and sometimes contradictory, according to the study. While many advocated respectful treatment of religious minorities, this was conditional upon the attitudes of the minorities, “which appeared to be in question,” the report said. The desire to proselytise was cited as one of the main motivations for kind treatment.

According to the study, more than half the public school teachers acknowledged the citizenship of religious minorities, but a majority expressed the opinion that religious minorities must not be allowed to hold positions of power, in order to protect Pakistan and Muslims. While many expressed the importance  of respecting the practices  of religious minorities, simultaneously 80% of teachers viewed non-Muslims, in some form or another, as “enemies of Islam”.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (88)

  • Aslam
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:09PM

    baseless report. created for the benefits of hindus and ahmadis i may add.
    what’s the point in showing a madrassa photo over here.
    tribune itself is run by zionist and hard core fasicits.

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  • Malik
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:15PM

    Totally agree, my teachers in school and colleges used to give anti-hindu remarks and make fun of cow..and the kids used to laugh at this..

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  • Parvez
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:18PM

    If the children of people responsible for this state of affairs, those with the power to bring change, studied in these schools or madrassas, matters would be different.

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  • Gul Khan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:32PM

    Does ET have anything else other than murder, terrorism, religious discrimination, drone attacks etc etc. ET’s whole front page is full of these non-sense stories.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:35PM

    So what’s new ?? This has been going on for very long time !!!!
    Why bother writing about it now??? Maybe more funds are on available for abuse in name of education !!!

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  • Nero
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:39PM

    All Pakistanis must read this news and learn to respect all religions. One thing I like to tell about the emperor Akbar who said “No one religion can claim to be the source of all truth.” And he then started discussions with all religions to know the common ground. Similarly, religious superiority is a cancer of human civilization.

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  • csmann
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:41PM

    this is what many people including many scholars of pakistan have been saying for years.It is unlikely to change any time soon .The results of this pseudo-education can be seen in the condition that pakistan is in now

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  • Sajid
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:43PM

    This is indeed true. Our textbook do insert hatred and speculation towards non-Muslims. They don’t do say by explicitly stating or directing us to hate, but the stories, the anecdotes, the implications in these books do insert hatred and anti-trust of Others at a sub-conscious and unconscious level. A bias that sits deep in our character buried for long times to come, altering and skewing our views and opinions. The bias that soothes us when we see the Other suffering. The books insert “dots”, that when we connect spell “hatred”. Curriculum needs to be changed and enriched with lessons that instill co-existence, tolerance and acceptance.

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  • Straight_Talk
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:46PM

    Spot on. But it has come only when the grapes have gone sour. Relationship with USA is a unique experience full of shocks and surprises.

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  • vasan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 1:05PM

    Zia’s donation and gift to Pakistan and Qadris are the products of the gift. Doesnt anybody know this?. It is more important to find out whether the govt is willing to do anything to remove such religious bigotry and is the society willing to accept such removal?

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  • Arsalan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 1:13PM

    Couldnt agree more.. The books and teachers in our schools definitely view Hindus as inferior aliens and mock them all the time.. I remember reading the extremely bias and senseless story of Somnath ka Mandir in 9th grade, second chapter of the Urdu book.. Now i wonder, what the hell was that.. If we want to progress, this senselessness has to stop.. Equality and social justice are the most important pillars of Islam.. Time has come that we understand these in their truest sense..

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Nov 9, 2011 - 1:15PM

    And the government trumpets that all are equal. The report is above 100% correct. This is the main reason behind all atrocities committed against minorities in our land of pure. Quota System in government jobs, seats in legislative assemblies and Friday Sermons from the Pulpit are known to all. Majority easily gets away from crimes committed against any who comes under earmarked majorities. Our educational system is not according to international standards. This war of inferiors and superiors though is imbedded in all religions but it should and must stop. It is not an easy task to remove those sections which are considered above in the article due to our confused ideologies with which the whole nation is suffering in the shape of suicide attacks on each others worship places including other heinous crimes against lesser important citizens.

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  • Salman
    Nov 9, 2011 - 1:30PM

    Erghhhh! I didn’t studied anything like this in The City School, Karachi

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  • M Ali Khan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 1:31PM

    Pakistan’s most renowned and respected historian, the late Khalid Khursheed Aziz (K.K. Aziz) has talked about the nonsense in our school books in the form of Pak Studies and Islamiat in great detail in his book “The Murder of History” many years ago

    the problem of our “education system” has been obvious for many years!

    http://www.sacw.net/HateEducation/1985HoodbhoyNayyar06022005.html

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  • man.in
    Nov 9, 2011 - 1:33PM

    @Gul Khan: Thats what pakistan is.

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  • Khuldun
    Nov 9, 2011 - 1:49PM

    Totally agreed. The children and brought up with twisted ideologies and hate prone thoughts. Muslim Mughals are shown as heroes when in fact they did nothing for the people and instead concentrated on personal glorification and entertainment. The British on the other hand, the Christians that they were, laid down railways, postal system, irrigation systems, schools colleges and hospitals. The Mughals were mainly interested in looting the gold from the Somnath Mandir.

    I have studied with Christians and a Hindu and found them to be patriotic. Our principal, Group Capt (ret) Cecil Chaudhry fought bravely for the country alongside M.M.Alam in the war. I wish we stopped assuming Hindus to be pro-Indian and Christians to be anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan. Live and let live, love and beget love. That’s the teaching of Islam as well!

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  • Jay
    Nov 9, 2011 - 2:10PM

    How odd that hospitals in an enemy country (India) with supposedly smaller heart (per Afridi) regularly operate and save hundreds of Pakistani children’s lives through heart, liver transplants. And such absolute calumny is spread about Hindus through official textbooks in Pakistan. You complain about Muslims being discriminated anywhere in the world but cannot get your own house in order when it comes to non muslim and specifically Hindu minority. The hypocrisy is numbingly mind boggling. Perhaps we the Indians are fools to save Pakistani children’s lives.

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  • Gul Khan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 2:50PM

    @man.in

    You are not probably from Pakistan or have never been to Pakistan. Pakistan is not like the way ET is showing it to us. If you do research, posting this kind of news is called Selective journalism! They only show what they want us to see! There are many tragic news items that do not get a headline coverage on ET. For example, see the below news and it never appeared on ET.
    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/11/04/bureau-reporter-meets-16-year-old-just-three-days-before-he-is-killed-by-a-us-drone/

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  • Pakistani
    Nov 9, 2011 - 2:54PM

    @Aslam
    Pakistan Social and Pakistan Studies books are full of hate. Muhammad Bin Qasim is shown as a liberator while all know that he was sent to bring back the ladies of the Sasainid empire who were in the court of Raja Dahir. Mehmood Ghaznavi is potrayed as one who destroyed temples to glorify Islam, then why would he loot the bounty n take the money to Ghazni, he should have distributes the riches to the poor supressed Hindus. The Sufi’s of the subcontinent always opposed these people, they even opposed the Mughals. The Mughals rules for 700 years what religious change did the bring. India had seven universities, the oldest in the World they destroyed them all. Our books however glorify them. So do u ask me to accept that this is to appease the Qadiani’s, many of whom have been killed in the name of Islam. Please accepts the wrongs, get out of the hate mindset inculcated ny Zia.

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  • PoorPeace!
    Nov 9, 2011 - 2:57PM

    @Aslam… Your comment itself shows the result of such biased textbooks. :-)

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  • Sanity
    Nov 9, 2011 - 3:19PM

    This is a result of the anti-India ideology, in which India is portrayed as a Hindu country. I could not believe how deeply this ideology effects the mind of people, until one of my Pakistani friends, who claims to be an Atheist, asked me strange questions that reverberated the anti-Hindu material taught in the text books.

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  • Sanity
    Nov 9, 2011 - 3:23PM

    @Salman:
    If that is the case, I thank God that my son is in the City School.

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  • Naseer
    Nov 9, 2011 - 3:34PM

    Seriously??? listen it’s the illetrates that do all the religious discrimination who don’t even hav access to education and those who do , they study with other ahmadis and hindus… my best friend is hindu and i just don’t see how this is possible… ofcourse i don’t accept his religion but he is my friend and Islam allows that… it would’ve been better if this article had more of xamples rather than baseless reports by enemies of Islam.

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  • Kashif Nawaz Shakh
    Nov 9, 2011 - 3:45PM

    These things really need to change now as world has moved on. I am sure the report is correct and on the basis of this report, our educational authorities should deliberately try to change the curriculum so it respects all the religions which will be in long term good for Pakistan.

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  • Mohib
    Nov 9, 2011 - 3:52PM

    Thats so true, in fact i even remember saying any one with blue eyes will go to Hell and thats why English people got blue eyes,

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  • hz
    Nov 9, 2011 - 4:18PM

    yeah right! -_-
    many of my teachers are christians..my principal is ahmadi…so what ??..i hav nothing to do with their religion..nor they hav anything to do with my religion…

    as far as govt. schools and madrassas are concerned…i agree…but this report is just for giving a point to “anti-pakistan” people to object on pakistan..
    there are thousands of other educational institutes that are against religious intolerance..what about them..?
    this american report wont dare to name those institutes where religious intolerance is rejected..
    hypocrisy!

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  • Nas Khan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 4:30PM

    @Gul Khan..

    The news you mentioned did appear yesterday on ET. Perhaps you were busy in Eid so could’t get a chance to read this. The story is mentioned inside the article.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/288996/drone-strikes-must-stop-us-human-rights-lawyer/

    Regards,

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Nov 9, 2011 - 4:43PM

    Pakistan’s educational system doesn’t fuel religious discrimination, it sparks, fuels and fans it too

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  • Imran
    Nov 9, 2011 - 4:55PM

    @Aslam: “baseless report. created for the benefits of hindus and ahmadis.”

    Be honest with yourself, if not with others. We all know how true the report is!

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  • Imran
    Nov 9, 2011 - 4:59PM

    “Religious minorities are often portrayed as inferior or second-class citizens who have been granted limited rights and privileges by generous Pakistani Muslims, for which they should be grateful”

    This is indeed the sum total of our educational system, as well as our mindset. I can’t add more!

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  • Khan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 5:12PM

    Well there are different text books in Pakistan so I am not sure where they have got this idea from .. We didn’t have any such text books in Peshawar at least.
    I am not sure if text books are different in Punjab run govt schools than from Peshawar as each province has their own text books and we all know its totally different story in Private run institutions … That’s why it should be policy of all political parties to address this issue and make one single curriculum across the country. We all know our Private schools or schools like Convent & Beaconhouse are better one then why not adopt their curriculum in all government schools too?
    All those who are saying their teachers said this and that … We are talking about text books here not about once in your life time a teacher had said. My schooling was partly done in Govt run school but I don’t recall any one talking about minorities in bad language these schools are open to every one and there isn’t any religious criteria for admission in any of them as far as I know.

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  • krishan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 5:19PM

    a very true report, every where in pakistan,islamic supeority is to be expressed,and hetred towards minorites are spreded,every one knew this, if gul khan or any one wont accept then they have not gone to schhols or read this text!!iam from pakistan,karachi and i knew the religious extremism very well

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  • Jondoe
    Nov 9, 2011 - 5:25PM

    Looking at the first comment, denial, again? Are you even a student?
    Im also from this education system, and this finding is spot on accurate.
    At least accept it a real issue and stop blaming the west. It’s people like who shame Pakistan,

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  • Was A Pakistani
    Nov 9, 2011 - 6:34PM

    @Aslam:
    It is 100% true! We have technically a caste based system where other religions are undermined and set a bias in the eyes of children.
    It is the only country which glorifies violence and hence this abysmal state of affairs.
    They have to do it to ensure the presence of otherwise a non-sensical country.

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  • Chandan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 6:38PM

    @Salman: good to hear that there are schools like “The City School, Karachi”…:):)
    thanks for sharing the info. Hope it made you a respectable human being. God Bless you.

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  • Jacob
    Nov 9, 2011 - 6:55PM

    They don’t teach this in Private schools in Pakistan,most students in Pakistan go to private schools where the books are from foreign publishers,those books are really liberal.

    The books surveyed were from Provincial text boards.

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  • H,
    Nov 9, 2011 - 6:58PM

    We should start a series of schools that do the opposite of what madrassahs do.

    We’ll teach that every human has feelings and should be treated with at least a certain degree of respect and that it really doesn’t matter where you think the universe came from or what made it.

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  • Omair Shakil
    Nov 9, 2011 - 7:05PM

    Regardless of what the books said, if you had a decent education or if you have the brain of a human being you should be able to know the right from the wrong, and it is never right to wrong someone on the basis of relegion or otherwise.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Nov 9, 2011 - 7:10PM

    What we need is to completely abolish the Madarssa System from Pakistan and instead need to construct new schools in remote areas as replacement of Madarssa.

    In the schools, the children will not only be able to learn about the religion Islam in Islamiyat period but will also be able how to read Quran properly.

    In addition to this, the students will also be able to learn English language as a subject right from Class 1 onwards and other related subjects which are generally taught in primary and secondary schools.

    What can we expect from students who go to Madarssa to learn the holy book Quran but there the teachers put chains and shackles to make them Hafiz-e-Quran. This is not the proper way for a student to learn the holy book Quran, as in the cities where there is a more awareness, the teachers teaching Quran cannot do that.

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  • Farhan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 7:43PM

    Pakistan and India must change their hate-hate text books like Europe changed after world war 2. The result is quite obvious that today we see less superiority complex among european youth.

    It is rightly mentioned that booked published by government of Pakistan do have topics that glorify few things and belittle some.

    Its high time to teach less biased history and include topics that help create religious and ethnic harmony among South Asian.

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  • amit
    Nov 9, 2011 - 8:13PM

    @Farhan:
    check indian book then talk .search google . don’t poke your nose

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 9, 2011 - 8:17PM

    Pakistan dont even have one education system first we gotta see what we have A/O level
    then mass potato producing yellow govt school sys where Lord Macalay sahab like said we
    produced only clerks since 1883 to now and our black english medium masters from shurfah of Aligarh keep it alive and they are very faithfull to queen Rani and then there Madrassa come where all the orphans and disables and poors of poorer get admission and
    there master jis or Usthad ji are him self dont know any thing about the world expect few
    things about so called Firqa or in english that called school of thought so tell me you guys
    what gonna happend to this jinnah country //???Recommend

  • Gautam
    Nov 9, 2011 - 8:24PM

    Jay,

    No, we Indians are not fools to save Pakistani children.
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  • Waste of Time
    Nov 9, 2011 - 9:08PM

    @Arsalan:
    Well, Godra was a counter reaction for Sabarmati train episode. But if Modi is to be held responsible for the crowd reaction then Pakistani prime minister should be held responsible for harboring dangerous terrorists like Osama Bin Laden, Dawood Ibrahim, Azhar Mohammad etc…

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  • XX
    Nov 9, 2011 - 9:39PM

    I feel that in Pakistan if there’s any religion that is discriminated against, it’s probably actually Islam, or real Islam I should say. Be honest with yourself. If you’re a Muslim just by name then you’re fine. But if you actually follow the tenets of Islam (like I do) – like keep a beard, keep hair to your shoulders, fold up pants above ankles, offer regular prayers, dress simply, treat the poor equally – then you are ‘controversial’, a ‘mullah’, pro-Taliban, etc. (yes these are all things I’ve been called) You are constantly scrutinized by security people everywhere, and sometimes they will stop to question you. That’s how free it really is to follow real Islam in Pakistan, truth be told. All I’m doing is following the way of living prescribed by our prophet but that happens to somehow be highly controversial in Pakistan.
    It’s nice that these human rights groups should focus on discrimination against minorities in Pakistan, I hope they can convert this work to some positive results rather than using it for finger-pointing, but I wonder if they ever pay any attention to discrimination against Muslims all over the world – including even in ‘Muslim’ countries.

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  • sceptic ali
    Nov 9, 2011 - 9:49PM

    i studied at a relatively progressive school and even we were taught horrible lies about hindus.
    what sort of a despicable system fills children’s heads with such vile hatred – no wonder paksitan is in such a free fall into the seventh circle of H.

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  • Khan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 10:30PM

    @Waste of Time:
    Modi was responsible because he had ordered the police to not take any action while Muslims were getting killed … You can’t compare that with OBL or Dawood Ibrahim … I don’t have any idea if Daood is in Pakistan or not but regarding OBL our PM didn’t say don’t take any action against him like Modi did .. neither we invited him to come here. He was let to run away when US was spending trillions to capture him via the only escape route that they deliberately left open for him. He crossed the border via foot while all satellites and US air power were observing each and every moving thing … Also don’t forget he didn’t come via Wahgah border but through a border which is used by thousands of people each and every single day and especially during that time we had a surge of Afghan refugees via same border from 2.3 million to 5 million within few weeks.

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  • Anwar
    Nov 9, 2011 - 11:24PM

    Mahmood Ghaznavi and Muhammad bin Qasim are shown as great heroes. Problem is we only read our version of history and we feel this is the only version. Thanks to wikipedia the world has is open to all of us in Pakistan. If you want the people to believe them as heroes you have to keep them illiterate. That way they will not search for the truth.
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  • Ayaz Munir
    Nov 9, 2011 - 11:29PM

    Islam is a very peaceful religion ,the thing they are teaching in schools is not actually Islam, its just because of the impact of Zia ul haqs regime till today that we have been teaching wrong meaning of Islam to the students. Quaid-e-Azam said 3 months before the creation of Pakistan, in May 1947, that,

    Hindus & sikhs are not our enemies

    Quaid-e-Azam always loved the Non-muslims, Islam also teaches you to love all , its juts that there are manyterrorist minded people in our coutry , who have introduced such books.May ALLAH bless Pakistan & May we have proper Education system here(Ameen)
    Pakistan Zidabad(Love the minorities)

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  • Cosmo
    Nov 9, 2011 - 11:34PM

    @Farhan:
    Oh you are such a phony baloney, have you even read any Indian text books, they are the epitome of good thoughts and efficient teachings. That is why our education system gave rise to world renowned institutions like ISB, IIMs and IITs. Religious preachings are strictly prohibited in Indian schools. In fact religious identity was the last thing in our minds when we were in school. As a school goer I celebrated Eid, Diwali, Christmas with equal fervor, i have prayed at mandirs, mosques, gurudwars and churches with equal devotion. Neither my teachers nor my parents taught me anything otherwise. Abnormalities like Sabarmati Express, Babri and Godhara does happen, but at least we can take relief from that fact that these abnormalities are not institutionalized in schools to corrupt the young minds.

    I so hate it when Pakistanis try to club/associate India with with failed policies or strategies of their own making.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 9, 2011 - 11:47PM

    But we can not every thing for these poor Madrassa peoples what our prograsive ultra librals and seculars give us i have witniced these English medium educated discrimonate
    more than any body else.

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  • Jamshed
    Nov 10, 2011 - 12:50AM

    one educational system fuels religious extremism and other one fuels liberal fascism.. which one should we follow?

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  • Jameel
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:18AM

    @Aslam:
    baseless report. created for the benefits of hindus and ahmadis i may add. what’s the point in showing a madrassa photo over here. tribune itself is run by zionist and hard core
    fasicits.

    Effects of such education are obvious on you. Hence proof that the report is correct.Recommend

  • Jameel
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:22AM

    @Khan:

    Modi was responsible because he had
    ordered the police to not take any
    action while Muslims were getting
    killed … You can’t compare that with
    OBL or Dawood Ibrahim

    How about Gojra incident, anyone responsible for that in your opinion?

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  • Aslam
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:25AM

    100% agreed. Now our educational system esp that of primary need to change.

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  • Sameer Usmani
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:30AM

    The hastily written piece of document comes from a country which specifically works against not just ‘a’ religion, but wants the people to abandon religion altogether and craft a society free from religious bounds, whatever they may be. A free society, the prospects and results of which can be witnessed in the destroyed daily life of the countries who try to propagate it where their internal will becomes the law and where illegitimate birds constitute the majority of population. I need not to say much !

    The childishness and haste reporting is at its best when the report mentions about hindus. The intolerance is not for hindus, it is for India ! just as their is intolerance for Pakistan in India.

    Before churning out such pathetic and idiotic reports, these so-called ‘commission of idiots’ should see what intolerance and discrimination they are infused with. If a community wants to make their place of worship at an area near ground zero, they are heavily opposed and people from top to bottom support the opposition ! Isn’t this intolerance and discrimination ? Recommend

  • Dawar
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:44AM

    We should not behave like some Indians who make fun of Muslims & Pakistan in their movies quite often. We are Muslims and Islam means peace we should be fair with everyone. There are some elements in both countries who are extremists and ignorant. Otherwise both religion talk about peace. Very important personal disputes should be stays away from religion. If both parties are Haramy and they fight for Haram, we should not bring religion in their disputes.

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  • Dawar Naqvi
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:47AM

    Discrimination and Racism is a common practice in Pakistan. They use name of the religion for their political and ruling motives.

    Dawar Naqvi
    LA USA

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  • Sameer Usmani
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:56AM

    @Khuldun:
    Correct your knowledge. Probably you should read history again. Muslims Mughals are shown as heroes for what they did to this land, at the time of british takeover, the Indian economy was the 2nd biggest in the world, just behind china. This pretty much shows what the mughals were doing. The mughals created a local government and tax collection system and provided relief to the common man due to which the country prospered. And the proof of their religious tolerance is the nearly billion hindu population of present day India. If you want to compare technology, just keep in mind one fact, engineering is what you call technology, and the only engineering at that time was Civil engineering. Coming to the example: compare the structure that was built in India in around 15th century (The Taj Mahal) with the structure built in england around the same time (saint patrick’s church in london i guess, dont remember the name). Compare both of them in every aspect, and you’ll know the difference between the mughals and the british. The Taj Mahal is landmark beauty and a wonder of the world, whereas nobody cares about that building in london !

    People like you who just want to praise the british are pathetic. You must know that the british had destroyed the state of india, just an example: They simply removed the rice crops of bengal and bihar and instead cultivated opium on that land, which literally made the people of those states to starve (destroyed the people of china at the same time !)

    Also for your information, the british didn’t laid out the railways for you ! they laid them to transfer the goods they were looting from this land and to transport their troops around the state so as to crush down any revolt against the imperial occupancy. The british didn’t made the roads for you, they made them so their officers could go to places like muree and etc to enjoy ! And i dont know which schools and colleges you are talking about ? only the british and the elite could study in those institutes u must know !

    You seriously need to study history and the becharay mughals have nothing to do with somnath, mahmood ghaznavi has to 1

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  • unpatriotic
    Nov 10, 2011 - 3:30AM

    Gen. Zia and his b-team, JI Zindabad

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  • goggi
    Nov 10, 2011 - 3:42AM

    My cultural identity is for me the “most authentic guidebook” of my life. This cultural identity is above all political and any alien religion affiliations. This identity is my people from both sides of the border. it is my languages, it is my unique music, it is the food, it is the common smell of our kitchens and above all the versatile gali galoch.

    I detest those, who teach me to hate my cultural values, who instigate hate against other religions and humans.

    I was born into an ethnic Kashmiri family of Lahore, where we live since 1861! I live in Germany and have close friends from various cultures. I must confess that Indians are grown in my heart, because they are original in their art.

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  • Ranjha
    Nov 10, 2011 - 5:21AM

    “…..Let there be no compulsion in Religion”

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  • rehmat
    Nov 10, 2011 - 6:11AM

    @Dawar:
    “We should not behave like some Indians who make fun of Muslims & Pakistan in their movies quite often”.

    Can you give me a single example where a Muslim was made fun of in Indian movies. There are so many famous actors, actresses, directors, singer, nusic directors, lyricists who are Muslims. DO you think they would keep quiet if this was happening?

    Yes. during times when relations between the 2 countries are bad, I can see that Pakistanis may not be portrayed in a good light. But I don’t think that Bollywood movies ever make fun of Muslim Indians. Also a movie cannot be compared with a textbook which is taught to a kid at young age. Most of the times, no-one takes a movie seriously anyway.

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  • Aceleaf
    Nov 10, 2011 - 6:20AM

    Institutionalized bias is gift of Zia regime. He incorporated it in consultation with Saudi American masters.
    Sad thing about biased curriculum is that it provides logical bases to terrorists. This bias bifurcated Pakistan society into: right and wrong. Suicide attacks are committed against wrong people. Which is why certain groups are immune to suicide bombings while others are not.
    Anyway, hate n bias cant run societies but collective effort.

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  • Drone-Acharya
    Nov 10, 2011 - 7:23AM

    @Pakistani:
    The Mughals took barbarism to a different level in the subcontinent. That has been their lasting legacy. The effects of which are still felt today.

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  • Omer
    Nov 10, 2011 - 8:16AM

    If we Pakistanis need to live in a more tolerant and peaceful society, then we need to make sure that our future generations are not learning hatred.
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  • spring
    Nov 10, 2011 - 8:16AM

    @Khan:
    Modi did the right thing. The muslims who burned the trained deserved it.

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  • Mushtaq Ahmad Gaadi
    Nov 10, 2011 - 8:40AM

    There is a great responsibility of writers, editors, commentators, educationists, intelligentsia, academia, non government organizations and society as a whole to contribute more enthusiastically towards the revamping of educational system prevalent in Pakistan which should then give birth to tolerance, mutual coexistence, moderation, acceptance of views of each others without religious, ethnic, cultural, linguistic biases etc. These measures when taken in correct perspective will lead toward progression, peace and prosperity, in fact the future generation is destined for. Young generation as a whole is thinking on the correct lines to actually project themselves as peaceful community. Extremism basically comes from injustice, lack of merit, different educational systems with unacceptable divide. Diversity must be taught to be taken as an advantage. Any body living on this soil be treated as equal citizen of Pakistan, which is the voice of majority here in the country. Extremist views wherever they are, are in minority. Manageable administrative division of the biggest province will also prove to be a step toward the right direction as close supervision, guidance, monitoring will help a lot to remove the bugs and steer the neglected few toward the main stream.

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  • rizwan
    Nov 10, 2011 - 8:53AM

    Only solution i.e. one system for all Pakistani’s without any discrimination!

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  • Udaya Bose
    Nov 10, 2011 - 10:25AM

    @Jacob:
    You may well be right but don’t the bulk of the students attend provincial schools? Presumably only the better off would be able to send their children to private schools.

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  • Indian
    Nov 10, 2011 - 11:45AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    I second to the opinion that madrassas/religious teaching in school should be stopped.
    Religion should be limited to individual.
    In India also Muslim students go to madrassas. I think it prevents them to enter into mainstream & is responsible for their poor state.

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  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Nov 10, 2011 - 12:37PM

    @ET and commentators.

    Mahmood Ghaznavi invaded India, defeated the rulers at that time who happened to be Hindues, he destroyed Somnath temple, destruction of somnath temple demoralized Hindu rulers and elites. All these are facts of History, what’s wrong on telling historical facts to our kids.

    One can dispute the intentions or war tactics of Mahmood Ghaznavi But we cannot ignore this historical event created by him!

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  • Mushtaq Ahmad Gaadi
    Nov 10, 2011 - 2:56PM

    @Nero:
    Not only religious superiority, negative superiority in any shape is condemn-able and not advocated. All human beings are equal having equal rights. Any text book trying to portray any religion, caste, culture as superior is not appreciated and not welcomed. The message of tolerance, peace, justice, merit and tranquility has great appeal and shall ultimately survive.

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  • from India
    Nov 10, 2011 - 7:40PM

    @ Jay – No we should continue saving Pakistani children’s lives. They will remember for the rest of their lives and when they will become adults they will teach their children not to hate us Hindus. The best way to serve God is through serving Humanity !!

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  • Waqas
    Nov 10, 2011 - 11:23PM

    The discrimination books should be abolished but even the mindset of the Pakistani muslims should change! They should accept there are also other ways of lives (not only “islam is the best way of life”) and stop thinking being muslim is always considered as the greatest human beings!

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  • Waqas
    Nov 10, 2011 - 11:29PM

    @ Mohammad

    why should islam lessons be included at school? why not at mosque? Is it difficult to seperate religion and school? shouldn’t school be open for every citizen irrespective of their religious backgrounds? i feel sorry for hindus/christians who have to read Quran at school, I dont see any muslims who have to read Gita/Bible/Torah.

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  • Zeeshan
    Nov 11, 2011 - 12:57AM

    @Indians, get down from your high horse.

    Meanwhile in Indian’s textbooks:

    “The portrayal has a rather apparent ideological agenda and the rhetoric of ‘protecting religious sentiments’ holds very thin when one studies the Medieval India textbook. What the books seem to be doing is to interpret the evidence through a religious lens and often at the cost of critical historical analysis. The portrayal of the Islamic community is that of one headed by brutal temple destroyers and killers of innocent civilians. Islamic culture is seen as an intrusive and non-assimilative entity, that imposed itself on all pre-existing indigenous cultures. The ideology of these books is that of Hindutva. Though presented in a subtle manner it successfully incorporates within itself religions seen as indigenous to India, and presents Islam as the brutal and barbaric ‘foreigner’ ” (http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv10n1/textbook.htm)

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  • numbersnumbers
    Nov 11, 2011 - 7:10AM

    @Gul Khan:
    Sounds like an average day in Pakistan, so what’s your point?

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  • csmann
    Nov 11, 2011 - 8:56AM

    @Zeeshan:
    nice article and the magazine;it is certainly of concern that the tolerant and secular view of the textbooks is taking on a religious bend;i hope these peoples will keep working so that this trend is reversed.most of this must have occured in the bjp ‘s rule.the party aligned with rss.
    that said,unfortunately many of the history books written by muslim writers of the time present the muslim king in a bad light;e.g ghaznavi is lauded as a but-shikan,and so also many other muslim rulers are presented as religious fanatics doing service for isalm.So these people pick on those books,and argue that since muslims of the period have written those histories,so that same should be presented as such,which as the author points out is contrary to the secularism.
    let us hope that saner minds overrule the doings of fanatics

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  • praveen
    Nov 11, 2011 - 10:06AM

    @zeeshan

    What ever is mentioned is 100 % true and fact. Islam is an alien tribal religion of desert. All other religions of indian subcontinent are indiginous. There is wrong in stating what what Muslim rulers did in history was bad and gross.

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  • Kafka
    Nov 11, 2011 - 11:23AM

    Instead of general comments, the report should quote some text books as well such as, In the Islamic Studies book of 6th grade it is written as…………….. without specific examples it is only your own judgement.

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  • Hassan K Bajwa
    Nov 11, 2011 - 11:59AM

    I thank my lucky stars that i was born into a household where we were taught to criticially evaluate the content in our textbooks rather than swallow everything they said without question.

    that is the only reason i was able to study in regular pakistani schools with the state-ordained curriculum without becoming a bigot.

    What Pakistani children are taught in schools is travesty to education and it is a severe injustice to them. As far as i am concerned Islamiat should be abolished from school curricula. If parents want to raise good muslims, they should take responsibility for their religious education by educating themselves and then their children. It is in fact a denial of their parental duties when they leave the teaching of faith and belief in the hands of a woefully underpaid and underqualified teacher. So remove Islamiat from the curriculum firstly.

    Secondly our Pakistan Studies textbooks need to be burned. These texts report a false history of Pakistan, engender hatred towards non-muslims and instill a horribly misplaced arrogance among muslim pakistanis regarding the faith and nationality. Instead new texts developed by academics and journalists should be made the order of the day.

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  • G. Din
    Nov 11, 2011 - 7:06PM

    @Jay:
    “Perhaps we the Indians are fools to save Pakistani children’s lives. “
    Not true! What have innocent children got to do with the absurd grown-ups and their twisted hang-ups? These children will perhaps one day raise their voices against institutionalized bigotry. This is the investment in the future of humanity we must NEVER shirk!
    @Naeem Siddiqui:
    “All these are facts of History, what’s wrong on telling historical facts to our kids. “
    History should be taught as a recitation of well-founded facts and nothing more. Gaznavi’s sacking of Somnath temple is a fact but when you portray it as the triumph of Islam or a result of the inherent machismo of Muslims, that is when you are NOT teaching history but INDOCTRINATING the young impressionable minds and planting facts which are unfounded! Can you see the difference? Not even Hindus would dispute the basic facts but they dispute the superiority of Islam or a particularly high machismo of Muslims. Both the superiority and the machismo have been belied by the subsequent facts of history, haven’t they?Recommend

  • narayana murthy
    Nov 12, 2011 - 6:23AM

    Pakistani text books should teach about the Hindu achievements of both India and Pakistan.

    This way, the Muslims could learn a lesson or two from Hindu achievement and strive to be better human beings.

    At least, as of today, Pakistani Muslims (and Muslims in general) are regressing.

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  • Nov 13, 2011 - 11:41PM

    Not Just about minority religions. They teach intolerance towards Minority Sects as well. Especially these new trendy Islamic English Medium schools. True Story.

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  • Moiz
    Nov 20, 2011 - 6:32PM

    @praveen:
    and that my friend, is why i maintain that Pakistanis and Indians are equally vile and racist. The economic boom of India triggered by the hard work of a small group of Indian economists and businessmen, has somehow enable every Indian everywhere to place himself on an economic,sociological, psychological, moral, religious and intellectual pedestal in relation to Pakistanis.
    Fun fact: There are many other countries all over the world experiencing economic growth. just because ours isn’t does not give you the right to make scathing generalizations about Pakistanis. You as a people are not special or superior. If you’re really all that great, learn that a little humility is the hallmark of greatness.

    @Jay
    ahsaan tha aapka.

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  • RajNJ
    Nov 20, 2011 - 8:57PM

    @Zeeshan,

    If you get a chance travel from Benares to Gaya. See the recorded history. Today the biggest temples (benares, Mathura) temples share their walls with Mosques and lot more. It is recorded history of destruction of temples. Not Hindutva philosopy. Please do not take it that I am supporting hindutva. Just mentioning from the relics of the archeaoligical facts. The mentioned facts are about Medivial times and not about recent historical facts.

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  • amir
    Jan 8, 2012 - 3:43PM

    indeed this is very good research based on ground facts. This is actually happening in our public schools. Its time to initiate peace and interfaith ethic to be teach in our curriculum that our students can learn how to live together with peaceful coexistence.let over throw such radical content from curriculum of textbooks.

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