‘Jihad’ in, evolution out in Turkey’s new education plans
Turkey’s Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz, above, yesterday unveiled the the final version his country new national school curriculum, which will teach pupils the ‘proper’ meaning of ‘jihad’, but will not address the subject of evolution.
Yilmaz said that evolution out because:
It is above the students’ level and not directly relevant.
The new curriculum will be put into execution for first, fifth, and ninth graders starting from this year, and it will extend to other classes in the 2018-2019 academic year. Accordingly, a total of 176 class curricula have been renewed.
The concept of “jihad” will now be taught. Yilmaz explained:
Jihad is an element in our religion; it is in our religion … The duty of the Education Ministry is to teach every concept deservedly, in a correct way. It is also our job to correct things that are wrongly perceived, seen or taught.
In this manner, in the lessons on Islamic law and basic religion sciences, there will be jihad. But what is this jihad? What our Prophet says is that while returning from a war, we are going from a small jihad to a big jihad. What is this big jihad? It is to serve our society, to increase welfare, to ensure peace in society, to serve the society’s needs. The easiest thing is to wage war, to fight. The skill is the difficult one, which is to ensure peace and tranquility.
Information on last year’s failed “coup attempt” will also be included in the curriculum.
When the subject of winning democracy is covered in social sciences classes, we will want the July 15 National Unity Day to be covered, too.
Pupils will also be taught about the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The chairman of a teachers’ union described the changes as a huge step in the wrong direction for Turkey’s schools and an attempt to avoid raising “generations who ask questions.”
Mehmet Balik, chairman of the Union of Education and Science Workers, is horrified:
The new policies that ban the teaching of evolution and require all schools to have a prayer room, these actions destroy the principle of secularism and the scientific principles of education.
In this report, Balik is quoted as saying:
The bottom line is: generations who ask questions, that’s what the government fears.
Opposition Republican People’s Party lawmaker Mustafa Balbay, above, said any suggestion that evolution was beyond their understanding was an insult to high school students.
You go and give an 18-year old student the right to elect and be elected, but don’t give him the right to learn about the theory of evolution … This is being close minded and ignorant.
Under President Erdogan’s AKP, which came to power in 2002, the number of “Imam Hatip” religious schools has grown exponentially in Turkey. Erdogan, who has roots in political Islam, attended one such school.
He has spent his career fighting to bring religion back into public life in constitutionally secular Turkey and has cast himself as the liberator of millions of pious Turks whose rights and welfare were neglected by a secular elite.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn