Friday, November 11, 2011

You've Got to Be Carefully Taught to Fear and Hate

An editorial in Pakistan's The Express Tribune decries the hateful teachings in school textbooks:
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has researched Pakistani school textbooks to discover that there is religious bias in them denigrating the minority communities of the country. After poring through more than 100 textbooks from grades 1 to 10 across all four provinces; visiting 37 public schools and interviewing 277 students and teachers; visiting 19 madrassas and interviewing 226 students and teachers, the commission members have come to the conclusion that “teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow”.
It is admitted by all Pakistanis that their society is steeped in extremist passions, some of them excited by unjust legislations like the blasphemy laws. Entire communities, such as the lawyers at the lower and high courts, have begun to take direct action on the streets to implement their extremist agenda, to say nothing of the Taliban who burn schools in fulfilment of their own vision of the perfect Islamic state. As a shocking demonstration of this trend, most people in Pakistan think that Pakistan is not following sharia, agreeing with the madrassa network that the constitutional amendment that set up the Federal Shariat Court is not sharia at all.
Textbooks have always been biased. Dislike of Christians is found in religious textbooks where Islam is described in opposition to Judaism and Christianity as creeds that rejected the pure message of Islam. The Hindus of Pakistan get the double whammy. History in our textbooks, which begins with the advent of the Arab warriors in Sindh against local Hindu rulers, and ends with the Pakistan Movement as a refusal of the Muslims of India to live together with “an unjust and hostile” Hindu community, always shows them in a bad light.
The good news is that the editorial acknowledges the problem and its grounding in "the pure message of Islam." The bad news:
Pakistan will reject the US commission’s report as per a routine that has given our officials a lot of practice in hiding the truth. Things are actually much worse in a country where TV programmes show youths voting in favour of extremist passions under the rubric of ‘ghairat’ and politicians hope to garner votes by favouring the Taliban and their worldview while rejecting any action against religious terrorism by saying ‘it is not Pakistan’s war’. Some years ago, a professor in Islamabad revealed the bias of prescribed textbooks. Today, society has far surpassed the textbook and lives a life of extremism and hatred of minority communities.
I suppose it is pointless to ask why the anti-racism/"human rights"-y types who have conniptions over Jews' "persecution" of Palestinians and who celebrate Israeli Apartheid Week every year are indifferent to the genuine persecution of minorities at the hands of racist, hateful Muslims.


Carlos Perera said...

Well, Scaramouche, it probably is pointless to ask why, in the sense of eliciting a rational response from the "'human rights'-y types." However, from the standpoint of what might be termed _sociopolitical ontology_, I think the question is useful in clarifying the underlying thought processes of said types.

My own answer to the question is two-fold:

(1) As I've said many times before, the Israelis are the designated honkies--and _ipso facto_ the vile oppressors--in the Middle East "narrative," while the Palestinian are the designated people of color--and _ipso facto_ virtuous victims of the honkies. I know, I know, it fails the reality test on many levels: historical, anthropological, geopolitical . . . but there you have it.

(2) The Israelis are the industrious, conscientious, law-abiding small businessmen to the Palestinians' violence-prone, irresponsible, un-civic OWSers. In other words, the "authorities" find it easier to push the former around than the latter . . . you know, in the same way that Tea Partiers are forced to fill out reams of forms; abide by numerous restrictions as to time, place, and manner of assembly; pay extortionate fees; and post exorbitant bonds for the privilege of exercising their right to assemble. On the other hand, the OWSers get to squat for weeks and months in public squares and parks, which they proceed to turn into pig wallows, while extorting supplies and services from neighboring merchants (and trashing their stores in the process), blocking public rights-of-way and denying access to commons, and responding violently to (feeble) police efforts to impose some semblance of order on the process. The whole subject of permits, fees, bonds, rules and regulations to use public property is, of course, not even broached by the authorities in dealing with the OWS phenomenon.

Yessiree, it's funny how sociopolitical dynamics works almost the same on the macro- as on the micro-scale: in our post-modern world, the nice, law-abiding, milquetoast little guy who says, "Yes, Officer," when told to move along is the one who gets rousted, not the violence-prone, antisocial type who flaunts his disregard of the law.

scaramouche said...

As always, CP, your comments are most edifiying.