Islamic body asks Pak government to include jihadist verses in school curriculum

Islamabad, Aug.10 : A top Islamic body has asked the Pakistan government to compulsorily include jihadist verses of the Koran in school curricula, even as experts have warned that such a move would be disastrous for the country, which has a history of extremism.

According to a report, last week, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), an influential religious body that advises the Pakistani government on legal matters, demanded the authorities to include verses about the importance of jihad in the proposed school curriculum.

"There are some 484 verses about jihad in the Koran, but they were deliberately not included in the syllabus," the web site quoted CII member Maulana Zahid Qasmi, as saying.

He added that he has expressed his reservations to the government on the issue. Responding to the criticism from the CII, Muhammad Balighur Rehman, a government official, stated that the Ministry of Education did not exclude "even a single word or verse" from the Koran.

The civil society in Pakistan is incensed at the CII's new demand and over the fact that the government is mulling over it.

This is not the first time that the CII has made this controversial demand. In February, the CII opposed a government bill to prevent violence against women, which is rampant in the Islamic country.

Rights groups complain about the state's inaction to protect women from "honor killings" and marital torture.

In January, the council blocked a bill proposing harsher penalties for marrying off girls as young as eight.

It also ruled in the past that DNA could not be used as evidence in rape cases, endorsing controversial "Hudood" laws that mandate a rape victim to get four male witnesses to testify in the court.

Academics like Professor Tauseef Ahmed Khan opposed the move on grounds that jihadist culture has destroyed the social fabric of Pakistan, and pushed the country towards isolation.

Some critics have suggested that it is high time that Pakistan give up its extremism narrative and there are also calls being made to abolish the CII by the liberal element in Pakistani society.

Source: ANI