Alma maters play an exceedingly important role in the development of children who can later on become contributing members of a progressive society. If I have to be honest, I would say that I was never too fond of going to school and my only incentive to wake up early in the morning and make that effort was to meet my friends. I went to a convent where life was just a little too proper for my liking. Chants of “heads straight”, “do not slouch” and “do not drag your feet” dictated the order of the day along with a strict curriculum and minimum extra-curricular events.

In retrospect, I now personally believe that attending a convent contributes to some of the best experiences of my life. Students from various religious orientations studied at my school and we coexisted wonderfully; the thought of numerous religious philosophies and how one worshiped never crossed our mind. I clearly remember that one of my favourite teachers focused more on religious harmony than his course outline. His curriculum was customised to ingrain the essence of tolerance within students who belonged to diverse backgrounds. “Regardless of whose teachings you follow, stay close to God and respect humans for who they are as every individual is unique and God’s best creation,” was one of his most frequently used phrases, and will always be a source of solace for me in today’s world.

Unfortunately, the things we were taught in school came to an abrupt end when I left for college – a different story altogether. The first time I heard the term “Jihad against Kafir” during one of the mandatory course session, I immediately looked around to see how those words affected my non-Muslim friends. Their expressions were a mixture of sheer disgust and hopelessness, and an uncomfortable silence shrouded them.

How can we expect our society to become tolerant when our textbooks are filled with venomous content? How can we expect our children to become progressive when we expose them to violent literature, and at such an early age? By using words such as “Hindus can never become true friends for Muslims” and using adjectives such as goondah for Hindus and fanatic clergymen for Christians, how are we possibly trying to teach our youth to be more compassionate or embrace different religious philosophies?

People professing different faiths are not the only targets of the hateful content that is featured in our textbooks. A handful of countries and their citizens are also treated with overzealous hatred, with India topping the list. Why don’t we realise that spreading hatred and intolerance has never brought any positive change in our own society? We corrupt young minds by turning their intrigue into fear and eventually Indophobia.

It is important to understand that by playing with the minds of our children this way we are giving rise to a hopeless society where rights and values of anyone who is not a Pakistani and a Sunni Muslim are irrelevant. Children are impressionable and by designing curricula which fan hatred and deny the idea of coexistence, we are encouraging them to become religious fanatics.

How about designing a curriculum which emphasises religious harmony, where the role of Jihad is given minimum significance and India is termed as a brotherly nation? What about building the foundation of a society in which Indo-Pak wars do not take precedence over human and civil rights movements? Why can’t our curriculum include all the positive aspects of different religions and educate children about the teachings of different prophets, thinkers and philosophers?

I must reiterate that by pumping negativity into our future generations we are neither inflicting any harm to our friends across the border or non-Muslims living elsewhere. The brunt of this so-called “academic fanaticism” is only faced by Muslim and non-Muslim minorities living in Pakistan. Hence, the hatred taught to our children affects only Pakistanis, and harms only our nation.

The statistics show that over 21.5 million Pakistanis, more than half of the population, are illiterate. Whereas, the other half of the country that have the resources and the will to acquire knowledge undergo this hate filled conditioning through the curriculum, and become resentful to people who are different from them, almost by default. Most of us were never taught to appreciate diversity and the difference of beliefs. We were always instructed to consider Hindus, Jews and Christians our enemy but is that truly so? Are we actually so significant and enviable that the whole world is conspiring against us? Why do we need to create fundamentalist soldiers who would defend us from the alleged connivance of other people? Why this paranoia?

Further research and interaction with these so-called enemies of Islam and Pakistan will perhaps help us understand that our basic ideologies remain the same. Most of us are affected and concerned by the same issues of the global state of affairs. We all feel threatened by the presence of radical elements and wish for a peaceful society. The cost of blood and tears of a Hindu are no less than those of a Muslim or Christian. The loss of a Jewish life is as tormenting and saddening as that of a Muslim. Indian children whose parents die in violent attacks are as bereaved as the children of Pakistani families whose lives are cut short in the event of a suicide attack or drone strike. Given the current state of affairs, shouldn’t our primary concern be focused more towards promoting a multicultural society?

The government, amid many other commitments, has announced that the curricula will be cleansed of all hate generating material; however, concrete measures to address the issue are yet to be taken. I hope that the literature is changed and redesigned to accommodate the less than two per cent of the minorities and a fairly large percentage of Muslim minorities living in Pakistan. I hope that our curriculum features facts rather than fabricated stories of heroism that gives us a notion of false honour about ourselves.

William Shakespeare once said, “Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”

The academia should realise that by disfiguring the actual history and creating a sense of animosity between Pakistani Muslims and the rest of the world we are truly raising an ignorant generation which will continue to spread hatred if the status quo is not challenged.

Our hope lies in tolerance, unity and religious harmony. In the absence of the aforementioned elements, our society will sooner or later collapse. It is time to replace ignorance and intolerance with eagerness to learn from what other religions teach. It is time to concentrate on the similarities that we all share. And it is indeed time to impart true knowledge to our students — the knowledge of respect, harmony and tolerance.

 


Faiza Mirza
The writer is a Reporter at Dawn.com

More From This Section

PPO to be softened, PM assures Zardari

The opposition parties in the Senate, including the PPP, ANP and PML-Q, made it clear they will not let the bill pass.

Injustice in the name of religion denounced

An Ulema and Mashaikh convention denounced all forms of terrorism and violence in the name of religion.

16 MoUs signed at business meeting

Over 300 representatives of the private and public sectors from CARs, Afghanistan and Pakistan attended the conference.

Media reports won’t deter bidders, hopes SC

SC hopes that media sensationalism would not deter from the auction, telecom operators familiar with Pakistani market.


Comments are closed.

Comments (138)

Rao
September 19, 2012 1:14 am
Will Pak Army allow that truth to be taught to Pakistani children.....Their all pervasive presence in all spheres of Pakistani life will be under threat....The funds they are gobbling up from the exchequer will dry up.....
Khizr
September 19, 2012 1:15 am
The author fails to provide any concerete examples of hatred in the text books. It will be great to do more research before writing an article.
Asif
September 19, 2012 1:22 am
The writer's sentiments and message are correct and spot on - but I believe she is stretching the truth when it comes to examples she cites. Would she be prepared to cite the institution and course she references in the following snippet ? "The first time I heard the term “Jihad against Kafir” during one of the mandatory course session, I immediately looked around to see how those words affected my non-Muslim friends".
Rao
September 20, 2012 12:32 pm
Can this be really true? This is poisoning of young minds who one day become the living members of the society,
beg
September 18, 2012 2:17 pm
I suggest Miss mirza to spare some time from other activities and read and understand quran then she will understand how quran solve the problem of religious harmony,love of humans,justice and rights of all and how to live togather and lastly when to wage jihad.so be literate and first read and understand quran and dont label without understanding since this is the real illetracy ,bias and hatred
papapa12@live.com.au
September 18, 2012 11:26 pm
why republican of pakistan had changed to islamic republican of pakistan ???? threre is no room for minorities????
r k chhabra
September 18, 2012 11:20 pm
Jag Excellent.......better understand, the meaning in these lines, and carveout better future, or NO FUTURE
AK47
September 18, 2012 11:21 pm
why?? truth never sounds good right?? she is bringing out all the rats inside the bags that is why right?? people like you are the main problem for pakistan not the writer.
sharma
September 18, 2012 4:31 pm
It is real shame that you find this issue contentuous. You need to go to school again.I feel sorry for you.
ghaleezguftar
September 18, 2012 4:12 pm
Love, peace, humanity, utopia...yes i agree. but public displays of naivety dont appeal much!
Gulshan
September 18, 2012 3:21 pm
@Kalyan Don't be Goody Goody. Show me a text book being taught in schools in India which has hateful words about non Hindu Communities or preaches violence against non Hindu people?
r k chhabra
September 18, 2012 11:14 pm
Just Imagine a young mind of 10 -11 years studying in a class, and this hate material is taught in the class....a tormantisation of that young soul of minority community, and happy mood of other majority community?.It will be killing to attend the school, forget about class. In 1947 , this new history was planned, and now this has been cemented in the minds of majority, but slowly many people are realising...a better signal, and a better future
n.qureshi
September 18, 2012 7:35 pm
excellent article.spot on.efforts must be made to correct the books and than maybe in 20 years we might see a positive difference
Naseer
September 18, 2012 4:11 pm
God bless you and keep you safe. You bring out the most important issues. Unfortunately between the political tug of war and power struggle, I don't see much good happening in our beloved country. One point to ponder, Did Allah create all the non-Muslims also and if Allah did, doesn't Allah love all thou's creations?
Hindu Fighter621
September 19, 2012 11:31 am
How do you know this talk took place
Rattan(Sydney)
September 18, 2012 8:22 pm
I am sorry Faiza - I believe that in Pakistan it is not one Bad apple spoils the barrel.The barrel is just full of them. Asif - "How can this intolerance when it clearly says we must fight against infidels in the holy book" you are right keep fighting - there is only a couple of hindus and sikhs left in Pakistan(1% or so ) and i hope you enjoy drinking their blood. Let me also tell you that no muslim even from a third world country like Bangladesh will come and live in Pakistan.
Rattan(Sydney)
September 18, 2012 8:32 pm
the rest dont count as they are in Madrassas training to be sucide bombers.Also regarding hate material in Pakistani books - there have been several studies done by international organisations(as we can not trust anything comming out of Pakistan as such)of hate content in Pakistani school books against the "INFIDELS".Please check the internet.
Rattan(Sydney)
September 18, 2012 8:34 pm
dear frog please get out of your well
Ajaya K Dutt
September 18, 2012 8:58 pm
I had been living in United States for last thirty years and I have not seen "great deal of civil war propaganda against southern states in their high school syllabus". Please do not rationalise evil from past as present practice.
abc
September 18, 2012 9:07 pm
Bravo!!! I totall agree with you. I have no doubt that the the names of great personalities mentioned above are the true saviours of Pakistan.
abc
September 18, 2012 9:11 pm
??? what introspection was it? plase elaborate more, if you could. thants
abc
September 18, 2012 9:14 pm
so true beg sahab... the solutions to all the problems are already present in the glorious Quran. We just need to study and follow them.
BEA
September 18, 2012 9:15 pm
I blame these Islamis Schools/ madrasas/mosques where all mullahs do all day is tell these innocent kids that if you are not a muslim a pakistani a sunni you are worth nothing these religiouse people pollute the minds off these kids who then grow up like their teachers, this needs to be stopped but i am affraid that it is to late for Pakistan to change its spots but have these haters forgotten that the founder of Pakistan the great Mr Jinnah was actually a shia and was a convert where do these haters stand on that, these mullahs should be stopped and stopped now before Pakistan finds itself on the out side with no help from anyone.
HINDU
September 18, 2012 9:15 pm
go to school for what,for revision of all he was taught in school against Hinduism and Christianity?
anand
September 18, 2012 9:15 pm
Kyon Bhaijaan, Aisa kya bura kah diya,Faiza sahiba ne..,jo aap itna khafa ho gaye? She has only asked everyone to respect humane values & humanity at large,and to treat people from all faiths with understanding & compassion. I respect her not because I am a hindu, but for what she believes in,but bhaijaan,i would certainly like to understand your anguish on her article.
BEA
September 18, 2012 9:17 pm
sorry rizwan does the truth hurt.
abc
September 18, 2012 9:24 pm
So true YSK. I live in delhi and i see very very long Ques outside the Pakistan Embassy of Indian muslims, wishing to immegrate to Pakistan, because of the brilliant informative information you have provided. You are absolutely bang on my friend. Perfect analysis.
sibt ul hassan
September 19, 2012 11:24 am
Good column but it need more than Chat
HINDU
September 18, 2012 9:42 pm
If I am not wrong there isn't a single line against any religion in any school syllabus in India( whatever the reason behind it vote bank politics or we really love others religion) but there is not anything negative about other religion. Even there is no mention of Hinduism in any syllabus other than in history and Sanskrit( Sanskrit is one of the most ancient language and also the parent language of many European and Indian languages) In my opinion Pakistan's syllabus contains material which expressed in the article only due to theory of infidel narrated in holy quran. If you will teach your new generation about this material it only create problems to Pakistan. In my opinion infidel is one who don't believe in god, even there is millions of people in India and more in foreign countries who don't believe in existence of god such as communist and scientists. So what they don't have the right to live happily.
MAHENDRA DEV
September 18, 2012 10:58 pm
in modern world you will come accros lots of christians, hindus, buddhists, sikhs, jews, jains, agnostics. with prejuiced minds you can not live, trade or work iogather. then there is hatred against shias, ahmedias and sufis. what plans and future you have in mind for coming generations of pakistan. unless you want them to confine to slums of pakistan and provide cheap suicide bombers to extremists. HOPE GOOD SENSE PREVAILs , LIVE AND LET LIVE, MILLIONS OF PAKISTANIS LIVE IN WEST. DO NOT MAKE THEM PARIAHS WHER THEY LIVE PEACEFULY
r k chhabra
September 18, 2012 11:08 pm
Agreed but don't you think fundamentalists will also multiply in those future 20 years?......a country where education is not at all a priority.
Kalyan
September 18, 2012 2:00 pm
Excellent article. Very much needed at the moment, not only in Pakistan, but also in India and other countries as well. Be it humans, plants, or animals, the initial years are crucial for the future growth. This is the phase where we are most vulnerable and this is where the importance of what we are taught either in school or in home becomes important. If today I know that Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world, it is because I was taught this in school. I have never been there. Similarly if children are taught about hate/animosity, most likely such things will stay with them for their life. Acts of extremism, such as suicide bombings, killings innocents is only like the last step in a sequence. It is what preceded it is more important. And proper schooling and good teaching can go a long way in addressing that issue.
afzaalkhan
September 18, 2012 6:46 pm
I love this crying by so called liberals of pakistan, since my teen age years been reading same cry abt text books and watching you keep crying and wailing. In the end you guys keep failing and will keep failing.
malik
September 18, 2012 6:27 pm
Brainwashing it its best
Craig Desouza
September 18, 2012 6:27 pm
Great words....unfortunately only a few to read it. As i say, just as u have mentioned the "most of us" you speak of will pass this article by as insignificant while those of us who actually agree with your views and have been living the same cultural upbringing nod in agreement to no further action.
AK10
September 18, 2012 6:30 pm
Sorry, do not agree. History is based on best available evidence at the time the historian is writing. True, the historian's selectiivity bias is present but also is objectivity. Propaganda is when lies are told deliberately to support some agenda.
amir
September 18, 2012 4:40 pm
you are no more worth reading.
Rakesh
September 18, 2012 6:38 pm
@YSk Yes, please ask the majority of our Indian Muslims this question yourself. I am more than certain that the answers will surprise you. For every hindu who has betrayed musims during riots, there are countless others who have sheltered them, often at personal risk. And frankly my dear, in my circle of friends, none, absolutely none is conscious of his/her religion/language/caste/region. And there are many people like me, who are blessed with egalitarian minded friends... Good Luck to you and hope your country finds peace soon. :-)
AK10
September 18, 2012 6:26 pm
Words are mightier than the sword!
rizwan
September 18, 2012 3:01 pm
congratulations for getting 1000 plus comments in advance for this article too. you choose your topics wisely: most contentious issues
Pavas Ambashta
September 18, 2012 6:25 pm
Really? Why So? Is talking about tolerance and respect for other religions is So bad as not worth reading??
Pavas Ambashta
September 18, 2012 6:23 pm
Another marvel by you ,madam!!
Bill Maher
September 18, 2012 6:23 pm
Dear Condemned, Pls don't set goals so high. It is OK to let the Indians be the villains. One needs a villain in every set up :-). Let us set the goal more achievable and say "all religions are equal", or even lower "All Pakistanis are equal, no matter of which religion". That may be doable in 5-10 years. Goal of yours, should be set for next 25-50 years, it at all desired after achieving the first one.
Kalyan
September 18, 2012 6:16 pm
Well, I used India in the context to emphasize upon the importance of study material taught to children. Never did I intend to convey the thought that hate/animosity is spread through books in India. On the contrary I am glad that our textbooks have taught us to be a good citizen. But I am sure that you will agree that we do have instances where not everything "true" is presented in our magazines/media (and this is true for other countries as well). For example with respect to wars fought with China, the image presented is as if India did everything right while Chinese were the ones to be blamed for everything. This I consider to be not entirely true. We did commit some faults during 1964-65, which we need to admit and accept.
ranbir
September 19, 2012 12:11 am
You possess a beautiful mind. Classic combination of beauty and brains sadly wasted in pakistan
Bill Maher
September 18, 2012 6:14 pm
Well so it shall be and I wish you all the luck for that paln. But if you love Allah and all his creations, pls make plans for safe exit for ones who are not (or not will be) welcome in the Muslim welfare state, planned.
asifiqbal787787@gmail.com
September 18, 2012 3:18 pm
How can this intolerance when it clearly says we must fight against infidels in the holy book? Caliphate is the only hope for Pakistan. Hopefully. AQ sahab, Zaid Hamid and Sheik Rashid (with help from Imran) will lead that way. Pakistan should become an Islamic welfare society where every muslim in the world is welcome.
haris
September 19, 2012 9:26 am
Very good article I suggest you to translate your writing and publish in Urdu newspaper because a large part of the targeted audience read Urdu newspaper.
Lilly
September 18, 2012 5:59 pm
Such a tradegey for any nation that controls the minds of children through hate, ignorance and personal opinion!!! Thank you addressing relevant issues. I love your blogs! Lilly of the Nile
Pramod
September 18, 2012 5:58 pm
I dont know who told you this but come to India sometime and see yourself.check any area which is hindu dominated and you ll find it peacefull then take a muslim majority area and it ll be sensitive. for example see the hyderabad new and old city new city is 70:30 ratio and quite calm with hindu in majority . Old city is 80:20 muslim majority and very sensitive. Most of the time hindus are attacked .
kbg
September 18, 2012 5:58 pm
The article is silverlining in dark cloud.Balanced & right thought by writter.Grown up can not be changed as their mind is preset & difficult to change then atleast start with new generation a right teaching for their bright future.
Indian
September 19, 2012 9:37 am
After Tarek Fateh it is Faiza Mirza!!! What is happening to Pakistan education system they produce intellectuals any more?
H. Being
September 18, 2012 2:18 pm
Absolutely agree. But who will initiate this process and when...?
Umesh
September 18, 2012 2:20 pm
You may take out hate in text, but kids learn from behaviour of adults, especially parents and teachers. Unless the heart becomes the target too (not just of kids), there will be minimal impact. For that, especially adults needs to both think and feel. When thinking is perceived as anathema (by the clergy and/or the ruling class), there is no hope without religious or political reformation. Any hope in that direction?
XYZ
September 18, 2012 5:36 pm
It is not going to help - he learnt this in his school :-)
XYZ
September 18, 2012 5:42 pm
As if the muslims spare the Hindus living in their localities. Even in the 2002 Gujarat riots approximately 300 Hindus were killed. Dont go by what happens when emotions run high - ultimately Hindus and Muslims are equal in India - rather muslims are more than equal - they can get admission in minority institutions even if they score lower marks than Hindus. And no muslims are seeking shelter in Pakistan - thank you.
Karachi Wala
September 18, 2012 4:43 pm
Ms. Faiza, while your article is an excellent one as usual. I am afraid, in many respect it is already way too late. What we are witnessing and reaping in our society did not happen overnight. It all started when we mixed religion with state’s affair. Government may say whatever they like, but I doubt when it comes to overhauling the curricula it will have the courage and guts to hurt the "feelings" of mullahs and their followers.
Zimbo_Indian
September 19, 2012 2:10 pm
If this is an example of brain washing, then I pray that the whole world should be brain washed at the earliest.
V. C. Bhutani
September 18, 2012 2:06 pm
Madam Faiza Mirza, Photo se to aap meri poti ki umar ki lagti hain. Aisa kyon likhti hain aap? Koi goli maar de ga aap ko. Kuchh badle ga nahin. Sab aise hi chalta rahe ga, Pakistan mein bhi, Hindustan mein bhi.
Rajesh
September 19, 2012 1:49 am
Your articles are like the soothing balm being applied on a burnt body. Your efforts are remarkable though
Yawar
September 19, 2012 1:47 am
Ms. Mirza, Your example of your convent vs college experience explains clearly whay we are where we are today and that something drafstic needs to be done very quickly. Everyone, including the politicians and media, are constantly talking about one revamped educational system in Pakistan. But no one provides any details regarding this one educational system. Should it be the educational system of the Convents and Grammar School that encourages harmony and coexistence or the more common educational system that teaches as you state "Jihad against Kafir?" I wish some organization conducts a survey on this question. The results will show what percentage of Pakistanis want the Country as a whole to progress or to be dragged into the dark ages.
Shankar Bandyopadhay
September 19, 2012 9:23 am
Another great article from Ms Mirza. P.S. I hope you have moved out of Pakistan by now not the best of place for writing such stuff perhaps Afghanistan is safer.
Shricharan
September 19, 2012 2:00 am
I bow my head to you my sister. you are real Chirag of hope.
Sam
September 18, 2012 11:51 pm
Amir ..... people like you should be watching Amir liaquat's 'Ghalib' and Veena Malik's 'Astagfar'. The 'Dawn' forum is not for you. You better contribute in 'Nawa-e-waqt' or 'Daily Millat' where you will find scores of minds like you. Cheers !!!!
b patel
September 19, 2012 1:37 am
after all the damage your intolerance has caused - especially to your selves your future is bleak. why? because all the moderates are only armchair moderates
jobert
September 19, 2012 2:51 am
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
gul
September 19, 2012 2:51 am
welldone Faiza!
Srinivas
September 19, 2012 3:16 am
I am from AP state in India. Almost 75% of our youth is in tech , Eng or Med schools. When I look at Pakistani school books, I am shocked. Hate can transform innocent minds and produce terror. Jaisi soch, waisi Phal.
farooqchohan
September 19, 2012 8:47 am
i am not agree..
Raj
September 19, 2012 12:35 am
No one to blame but Saudi Wahabi.....
Random
September 18, 2012 10:10 pm
I am an Indian living in United States and in my school, office and college in both India and United States, I have had the pleasure of working with lot of muslims, sikhs, christians etc. and never has 'religion' been any issue, ever. Everyone peacefully practices his/her own religion and I believe it is supposed to be a private thing. Minorities,are LARGELY( exceptions are always there) have been well treated- except in the case of politically motivated cases. Then why is there such a big issue in islamic countries? Is it because you bring it in the public domain ?
Tom
September 18, 2012 2:04 pm
Who cares what you as a nation thinks or treats others. Your country and its people are at the bottom of barrel, but acts as you are it. Muslims were never a tolerant people as you claim citing examples from the Ottomans and so forth. The world is treating you exactly as you deserve. Indians don't care about your opinions at all.
raj
September 19, 2012 9:51 am
Its NOT abt Quran dude....its abt some hatred text in pakistani text book. Read the article carefully :)
thedoraandboots
September 18, 2012 2:05 pm
Very well said Faiza.Religious tolerance is definitely a cure of so many issues in our society and world at large.Makes me wonder why these people don't understand the fact that Prophet Mohammmad( peace be on him) is the greatest ambassador of harmony among various faiths.We teach hatred to our children and think that makes us better Muslims.Why can't we live in peace with christains,Hindusm,ahmadis and Jews.No religion advocates hatred.
nasir latif
September 18, 2012 4:54 pm
everyone is right but who we are we really kidding with? USA holds great deal of civil war propaganda against southern states in their high school syllabus. so does UK about french revolution. The text books are always planned at strategic level so as to prepare the human resource for those strategic goals. Instead of changing text books, we need to identify the source behind and what we find is confused multi dimensional approach in our strategic timeline. Cure the disease by finding the root cause. Please.
Ali
September 19, 2012 9:49 am
Ms. Faiza, It seems that you write to please the Indians probably for getting their good comments by always criticizing Pakistan and appreciating India ......... Allah knows better.
ip
September 18, 2012 4:19 pm
I am from India, My family has an Engineering College. Name of our college based on Hindu god. We have a Muslim principal. But no issue at all.
Random
September 18, 2012 10:13 pm
It is not they who are failing, it is your 'Pakistan' which has failed unfortunately and if far from what it was envisioned by Mr. Jinnah.
Rajesh
September 18, 2012 4:34 pm
You reap what you sow... So many people had to die before sane voices could be heard. What do you do with the current generations who have grown up with hate?
Jag Nathan
September 18, 2012 10:46 pm
Khan, the failing at the end of the day would be yours & Pakistan’s and not that of the liberals (of Pakistan). Pakistan has already lost two or possibly three generations of people to the extremist ideology that now plagues your country. Your cities are already almost unlivable thanks to all these kids now lost to an extremist ideology. No nation can survive and prosper in the long run in today’s multi cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious world unless its citizens understand and respect cultures, faiths and systems that are different from their own. What is being done in your school system is breeding generations of kids whose minds are poisoned and will never be able to live harmoniously and prosper in the evolving world.
Subhas Chandra
September 18, 2012 4:33 pm
Very thought provoking article. I am originally from India and hence I can understand the context. Where to begin? I have a suggestion : The minister for education for Pakistan has to form a committee for review of the text books for removing such hateful contents from text books. I am sure there will be push back from certain sectors, including the religious leaders and the ISI . Finally the President of Pakistan has to take the decision to implement them. It CAN be done and it will take 10 years to clean up the mess.
krishgovind
September 18, 2012 4:37 pm
Very well articulated thoughts! This critical article, appearing in a leading Pakistan print media, written by a bold Pakistani, itself give us all glimmer of hope. It take enormous courage to write what is morally right, right for the country and not what majority want to hear.
MAHENDRA DEV
September 18, 2012 11:03 pm
yes you are right even gandhi twisted the traditional hindu bhajan and sang ishwar allah tere nam and nobody objected
Hmmm...
September 18, 2012 10:50 pm
where are these books published? I am a shia Muslim, I did my matric, intermediate, BSc, in Pakistan, before leaving for US. I nevever came across any of the material you are talking about. I do agree that Sunnis need a life. There are very ignorant about their own faith but quick to harrass others'. The ayat of the Quran - I paraphrase " bring your evidence if you are telling the truth" speaks volumes for them. But seriously, all the hate text you have written of, I have never come across any of it, in any mandatory class. Are you sure you are being straight with us?
Introspection
September 18, 2012 2:47 pm
An Excerpt from your article: “Regardless of whose teachings you follow, stay close to God and respect humans for who they are as every individual is unique and God’s best creation,” was one of his most frequently used phrases, and will always be a source of solace for me in today’s world... Now, realistically speaking in my opinion, this will never work in a majority mainstream Islamic country and society where the majority deeply believe in and attempt to fully and verbatim follow the Revealed Book of Allah (The Qur'an), in which a classic case study of this same philosophy that you have quoted; and which was clarified by Allah Himself as a pre-condition in no unclear Words, came about in the minds of the Jews and the Christians of Prophet Muhmmad's (PBUH) time. A delegation of them came to Muhammad with the same argument: ' O' Muhammad, why your Islam in particular, we too love the same Allah just as much as you do, so let us be and leave us alone!'...Allah answered commanding Muhammad; 'Say (unto them) O Muhammad, If you indeed love Allah, then follow (emulate) me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, and Allah is indeed the Forgiving, the Merciful'. (Qur'an 3:31).
Condemned
September 18, 2012 2:45 pm
Bang on target Faiza! More power to you for writing such a sensible piece in the midst of rampant nonsense all around. Why don't they (the Textbook Boards of respective provinces) simply cleanse the curricula of false stories of Muslim/Pakistani triumphs? What's wrong in confessing that we lost all of our wars against India because of our own follies that we should never repeat? Why are we ashamed of all those not-so-successful ventures?
Hasan Zaman
September 18, 2012 2:49 pm
We all, young and old, should get involve in correcting our books and our history the most. Most, if not all books (of history) are written with "Muslim is always a Hero" mentality. History should be told as is. School Books should not be "Muslim".
Pramod
September 18, 2012 5:48 pm
@Kalyan i dont know which school you went but in my school there was only one muslim boy and i can remeber there were lesson about idd festival.I never saw anything against him. We used to call him fauji(army jawan) and he became one . we are still friend though i stay in different city now.
Dave
September 18, 2012 5:31 pm
Can't you publish this piece in Urdu? That's where this article requires most.
HST
September 18, 2012 1:56 pm
"It is important to understand that by playing with the minds of our children this way we are giving rise to a hopeless society where rights and values of anyone who is not a Pakistani and a Sunni Muslim are irrelevant". I'll add - anyone who is not a Pakistani and a MALE Sunni Muslim. Its said that when you hit the rock bottom, the only way is up but we have successfully defied and redefined rock bottom and continue doing so.
CHRIS
September 19, 2012 4:47 pm
SUPER ARTICLE, WELL SAID AUTHOR...HATS OFF TO YOU...
ROHIT PANDEY
September 19, 2012 2:40 am
Take good care of yourself and your family Faiza Mirza!
BP
September 20, 2012 11:36 am
Perhaps you people might start the ball roling by bringing to justice all those responsible for the atrocities against the Bangladeshi in the 70's
A. K. Ahmed
September 18, 2012 3:57 pm
The statistics show that over 21.5 million Pakistanis, more than half of the population, are illiterate." I'm pretty sure that the population of Pakistan is more than 43 million! Maybe the article meant only the population of Karachi. The actual numbers are even more frightening if taken absolutely...180 million people, 90 million illiterates, and amongst the 90 million that are considered "literate" are included even those that can only write their name.
Akram
September 20, 2012 10:24 am
what is with people who think the answer is caliphate to every ill. The history of the caliphates was no land of milk and honey. many of which were worse than our own Pakistani history. Yet let us ignore the actual history and make the same mistakes all over again. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.
Jaggu
September 20, 2012 8:02 am
How will the poor condition of minorities and learning about the daily mental agony the Hindu and other minority students endure in Pakistan please the Indians ?
pathanoo
September 18, 2012 5:03 pm
MAY THE GOOD LORD BLESS YOU FOR YOUR COURAGE AND HONESTY. Pakistanis will do well to remember a truism," Hate destroys the container (the hater's heart) first." And if your heart is destroyed, you have no hope. You are less than an animal. An animal may not have brain but it also does not have hatred in it's heart.
Vijai
September 18, 2012 1:38 pm
Negative thoughts srpead negative vibration everywhere. Being muslims who believe in congregational prayers, pakistanis must understand this. Yiu have done a commendable job Ms. Faiza.
Raja
September 18, 2012 1:39 pm
WELL WRITTEN AND TO THE POINT.....but then who is listening.
ysk
September 18, 2012 1:39 pm
Ironically, the statement "Hindu cant be your true friend" sounds somehow true. Ask Indian Muslims what happens when riots break and how your true friends burn your house. For other examples, can you please extract some excerpts from the referred books? Probably will strengthen your points. Also, a comparison with literature in other countries regarding Muslims should be done also. I am sure equating Muslims to terrorists is making into some literature around the world also.
Gerry D'Cunha
September 18, 2012 1:46 pm
How can we expect our muslim society to become tolerant when our textbooks are filled with venomous content of 'hate' towards other faith and religion. The results of the muslim world today is in front of our eyes - muslims quote the prophet but do not practice his good deeds. What a shame!!!
Nadeem Khan
September 18, 2012 1:47 pm
Pakistan population is around 180 million so how come 21.5 million is half of Pakistan population. Secondly can the author pin point the books where these hate materials are taught as I do not recall it from the books I read or its another cheap stunt by the author to have more comments from Indian readers.
Naz-Hyd
September 18, 2012 1:48 pm
Hope someone publishes this in all tyhe urdu press every week and every month of the yearfor next 20 years
Ali
September 20, 2012 4:17 am
The credit goes to DAWN that dare to publish such articles...... even when certain exagerations are made by Ms. Faiza...
Ali
September 20, 2012 4:14 am
Very funny.....
wasim parvej
September 19, 2012 8:54 pm
Why the hell are you connecting it with indian . Obviously they r better than us. They have a better economy, a better literacy rate, a better education system in which they focus on making a good human and not a good jehadi and what we r doing is teaching our childrens (future of this country) to fight for jehad with people of other religions even after we know the fact that they are better than us.......
Nadia
September 20, 2012 1:17 pm
Wish more people who think like you, and try to "practice what they preach".
Gerry D'Cunha
September 19, 2012 7:20 pm
this is the early sign of disastar
AC 80 and 308
September 19, 2012 6:23 pm
Brave one! Dudette, Pls take care of your self.
Sameer
September 19, 2012 5:56 pm
Are you serious ? Have yet to meet an Indian muslim who wants to settle in Pakistan
V. C. Bhutani
September 20, 2012 1:53 pm
To put it briefly, while there is mainstream secularism in India, there is an ever present substratum of Hindu fanaticism as well. Which is not to leave out other varieties of fanaticism - Muslim (both Shia and Sunni, but also Bohra), Christian (many varieties), Buddhist (modern revivalist but nostalgically looking towards a classical past), etc. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 20 Sep 2012, 1922 IST
Utkarsh
September 19, 2012 5:16 pm
Well duh! Half of that hate in textbooks is directed against India!
Rattan SINGH(Sydney)
September 19, 2012 2:47 pm
Cannot agree more.I wish in India we had journos of this calibre.I find pakistani journalists and writers are far more superior than their Indian counterparts.Sister Fazia is a shining example indeed.
Zimbo_Indian
September 19, 2012 2:47 pm
Obviously, YSK got a lot of madarsa education. I am glad now even madarsa graduates are reading DAWN online and writing comments in English.
Rattan SINGH(Sydney)
September 19, 2012 2:43 pm
Rehan,it is not true.Indian see pakistanis as brothers gone rouge.Unfortunately Pakistanis are doing everything to harm their own interest.Just the fact that i and lot of Indians read a pakistani newspaper and vis a versa shows that people from the other side of the border(even the new generation)are interested in each others life.
Zimbo_Indian
September 19, 2012 2:38 pm
You write, "No religion advocates hatred". Is it true? i think ALL religions teach hatred. Otherwise why did the world see centuries of crusades in Europe and West Asia Muslims and Christians did their best to wipe out each other from the face of this earth. Why Jews had to wander the world for centuries? Why Hitler wanted to target Jews?. Hindus don't have a history of targetting other religions but they make up by targetting the underprivileged among themselves. There are MORE people willing to kill in name of religion than those who will follow the humane aspects of religion and try to bring .joy to their fellow humans.
Devil
September 19, 2012 1:22 pm
You nailed it again! Let me tell you a contrasting story from your neighborhood: A small kid (Hindu) returned from school (Public School) with a Eid Card (Made and colored in class itself under the supervision of a Hindu Drawing teacher) and his Mom decorated it on his study table and cleaned it only after Eid. Hope above two-three lines will make your countrymen understand the meaning of 'Religious Tolerance' and its quite common in India where we teach 'Majhab nahi sikhata apas mein bair karna'. By the way, many thanks to you as every brave article by you makes me feel how different we have become and again many Thanks to God and Jinnah for Pakistan!
Zubair
September 19, 2012 1:17 pm
Her article is proof that it is very unlikely that the author has studied the Quran or read any of the books of other religions.
Devil
September 19, 2012 1:09 pm
Looks like some of us still attached to our amputated (for the good) part !
Devil
September 19, 2012 1:07 pm
then who are you ? ;-)
Abhimanyu (India)
September 19, 2012 11:08 am
Looks like Indians want to see a better Pakistan more than Pakistanis do. Strange!
U gupta
September 19, 2012 8:53 am
Let any one read Quran from cover to cover. No where it teaches hatred. It only warns you about the consequences, if not followed true teachings. I am sorry to say no Alim, Fazil or Hafiz has understood the true teachings and every one talk like parrot.
Raja
September 19, 2012 7:49 am
Looks like Indians are supporting this article more than Pakistanis. Strange!
R.Kannan
September 19, 2012 7:19 am
Good article. Hope, the people with the authority and capability to change such events understand and act before it is too late.
shubs
September 19, 2012 6:53 am
Mr Bhutani, can you please explain how this is even remotely similar by any stretch of the imagination to India?
Pramod
September 19, 2012 6:56 am
@abc if you really stay in Delhi then you must have idea about areas like shahdara, Seelampuri and environment there.
m. mushtaq haji
September 19, 2012 2:08 pm
A thought provoking article.But here I will second the comment of MR.HARIS,that such articles should be translated in URDU to reach the majority of Pakistanis who only read urdu news papers.For sometime I have been wondering that inspite of good articles appearing in DAWN no inspiration is seen in general perception of pakistani and I started reading JANG articles and realised the reason.So Pl send your urdu version to urdu newspaper also it will definately enlitened many Pakistanis
Sumit
September 19, 2012 6:37 am
Wah wah YSK! Y'know the irony is in the fact that riots are better than GENOCIDE. Riots by definition imply 2 groups fighting and killing each other. This implies that both groups stand a chance at defending themselves. Now look at what happens in Pakistan with minorities- not even the slightest chance of defending themselves. This my friend is called Genocide!
Pramod
September 19, 2012 6:09 am
We Indian wont be mind what your book says about us. if Pakistan can remove the hate text for pakistani minorities then it is more than enough.
vijay chunchu
September 19, 2012 5:50 am
fazia as much as a shining bright human being you are you bring so much insight to a human soul if even the liberated and the intelectuals in your country be brave enough to understand you this nation would definately rebound for the good, girl with your kind of thinking you one day you will definately be remembered for the person who sowed the seeds of change keep the good work and good luck
Zimbo_Indian
September 19, 2012 1:58 pm
The obvious conclusion is that Indians are more sensible than Pakistanis.
raj
September 19, 2012 5:35 am
I salute Ms Faiza. We need more people like you. I am HIndu Indian and I do not want my country to become Hindu state. I am proud of India being secular state where every religion is give equal respect. We celebrate eid, Diwali, Christmas as our national festival. I think Secularism & Democracy is interlinked. This is the reason most of Islamic state doesn't have democracy. I agree with author that instead of teaching hatred things about other religion, we should rather teach good learning from other religion. "Humanity is the biggest religion & we all are human first".
Paki
September 19, 2012 5:30 am
Indians are so happy LOL
rehan
September 19, 2012 9:17 am
Indians would support anything that is not in the best interests of Pakistan !
Anjum Hameed
September 19, 2012 5:13 am
We are a frightened, dissatisfied nation, who's only outlet is anger towards those who are lesser in numbers..when I was young I would have scratched the eyes out of anyone who claimed Partition was a mistake, now I'm not so sure..perhaps we would have been a better sort of people if we were a minority, and had a 'danda' on our heads, the same 'danda' we flout in front of those in our own land..
Feroz
September 19, 2012 5:10 am
Faiza, you have an alert mind and are willing to use it constructively. This is a real threat to people who want to rule on the basis of dogma. Since the last 65 years every Government has promised to clean up the curriculum in Education but the hate content has kept increasing. Now please correlate this to the violence seen in the country over the last 10 years. The cause and effect can be clearly established even to a layman. Today a stage has been reached where the nation is so psychotic that free thinkers are considered foreign agents and enemies.
AKS
September 19, 2012 5:01 am
Once again Wonderful piece of writing Ms Mirza..What you have written is essence of all religions and faiths..and above all I think religion is for man, man is not for religion..... I would love to quote a couplet here.. ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo yoon kar lein Kisi rote hue bachche ko hansaya jaye..... Please continue this noble cause of strengthening the diversity in the Pakistani society....
Ron
September 19, 2012 4:35 am
You are gifted Faiza and you are compassionate. God bless you
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Bloggers
Tweets